I saw something about “affluenza” on Twitter yesterday and ignored it, assuming it was a portmanteau coined by Salon or Slate for an article about income inequality that the left had collectively decided was clever. Today I googled it and realized why people are talking about it. Friendly advice: If you’re planning on drinking tonight, go ahead and start before you watch the clips. Trust me.
Simple solution here: If the kid can’t function in society because mommy and daddy spoiled him to the point of degeneracy, make them serve his time. At a bare minimum, charge them with child abuse. That’s what the “affluenza” defense is, after all — it’s a plea for mercy in the sentencing stage on the theory that the havoc wreaked by the defendant would never have happened if he hadn’t been victimized as a child himself. Whether the abuse occurred through acts of commission or omission should make no difference. If mom and dad instilled a “no limits” mindset in li’l Ethan so deeply that he can’t be held fully blameworthy for getting drunk and killing four people, then we have a case here involving a grievous injury done to a child. Someone must pay.
If there’s any justice in this world — and there isn’t, as you’re about to see — the victims will bankrupt them with wrongful death suits. The ask right now is $20 million. Beyond that, the lesson for parents (wealthy parents, at least — the poor are screwed here, as usual) is to work hard at turning your child into the most privileged, entitled A-hole possible. If you fail and he somehow turns out to be a decent person and then ends up running someone over, well, then he might have to do time.