WTVM Editorial 1/1/16: 'Affluenza' comes from bad parents

WTVM Editorial 12/31/15: 'Affluenza' comes from bad parents

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - You've probably heard of the capture of Ethan Couch, the infamous teenager who killed four people in a drunk driving crash that left a fifth person paralyzed.

He never went to jail, but when he was videotaped violating his "no alcohol allowed" parole by playing beer pong, he fled to Mexico with his mother.

His lawyer used the now notorious "Affluenza" defense, arguing Ethan was so affluent: meaning rich, and spoiled, that he didn't know right from wrong.

The judge in his case bought that crazy defense hook, line and sinker and Ethan was spared a lengthy jail sentence.

The judge's decision sparked national outrage. But here's something you may not know about the case, which makes it worse if that's even possible.

It turns out Ethan is a chip off the old block as they say: both of Ethan's parents have more than a dozen reckless traffic citations or arrests for theft in their background, and neither of his parents have served time for their transgressions.

Yes, the so-called "Affluenza" teen has bad, dysfunctional parents. No surprise there.

Of course we should have known that, given the fact that, on the night of the drunken car crash, Ethan who was 16 then, was partying hard at home with alcohol and drugs and no parental supervision.

His parents knew he made bad choices but instead of parenting him, they let him do what he wanted.

That his mother then helped him hide out in Mexico, trying to escape further punishment, is proof that his parents have no moral character.

They will now get their day in court - again - but this time, maybe the justice system will get it right and throw the book at him.

And his mother, too. Sometimes jail is the only punishment that makes sense.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906

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