Ethan (16) kjørte ihjel fire - for rik for fengsel

Ethan Couch skal behandles og ikke fengsles etter at han kjørte ihjel fire mennesker i Texas.

Denne artikkelen er over ett år gammel og kan innholde utdatert informasjon

Påtalemyndigheten krevde en streng straff for den unge sjåføren som fyllekjørte i høy hastighet og drepte fire fotgjengere i den amerikanske deltstaten Texas 15. juni i år.

Tenåringen skal ha stjålet to kasser med øl fra en lokal butikk, før han og syv passasjerer kjørte bort fra stedet.

Noen timer senere kjørte han ned fire personer, i tillegg til at to passasjerer ble hardt skadet.

Levde i luksus

Denne uka møtte 16-åringen i retten sammen med sine forsvarere. Ifølge Daily Mail argumenterte de for at gutten ikke var ansvarlig for sine handlinger ettersom han vokser opp i luksus.

Forsvarerne mente at gutten ikke var i stand til å ta ansvar og sone for fyllekjøringen fordi foreldrene hadde gitt han for mye frihet i oppveksten.

– Foreldrene ga ham frihet ingen ung person skal ha, skal de ha argumentert med i retten ifølge ABC News

Forsvarerne klarte å overbevise dommeren om at tenåringsgutten var best tjent med en behandling for lidelsene i luksus har påført ham.

Foreldrene må ifølge CNN punge ut 2,7 millioner for sønnens behandling.

– Satt ikke grenser

Dommen har vekket kraftige reaksjoner i USA. Psykolog Gary Buffone kaller dommen en «dask på hendene» for en svært grov forbrytelse.

– Forsvaret er latterlig. Det er ikke bare foreldrene som ikke har satt grense, det blir ytterligere forsterket av dommerens avgjørelse, sier han til nyhetsbyrået AP.

Moren til en jente som ble påkjørt og drept sier til ABC News at hun blir gal av dommen.

– Han tror kanskje han slapp unna med noe, men han har ikke sluppet unna med hva som helst, sier hun.

Ethan Couch, 16, had three times the legal drinking limit in his blood following the accident on 15 June.

His lawyers argued his family's wealth and lack of parental oversight justified rehabilitation.

Couch had faced up to 20 years in prison for the crime.

'Affluenza'

Authorities say Couch was seen stealing two cases of beer from a local store before he and seven passengers drove away in his pick-up truck.

The truck later struck and killed a stranded motorist and three good Samaritans who had stopped to help, including a mother and daughter.

Two of the passenger's in Couch's pick-up truck were also seriously injured.

During his Fort Worth trial, Couch's defence team argued he suffered from "affluenza", a popularised term for children from wealthy families who have a sense of entitlement and make excuses for poor behaviour, according to media reports.

One psychologist testified that Couch was raised in a household where his parents were preoccupied and overly indulgent, arguing and later divorcing.

On Tuesday, juvenile court judge Jean Boyd later determined Couch would be better served by enrolling in a private $450,000-a year (£275,200) rehabilitation centre that his parents would pay for than to be sent into the Texas juvenile justice system.

'Double standard'

The decision raised ire from critics, who said it was too lenient a sentence and not commensurate with sentences handed down to poorer individuals for comparable crimes.

Florida psychologist Dr Gary Buffone called the sentence a slap on the wrist for "a very serious offense.

"The defence is laughable," he told the Associated Press news agency. "Not only haven't the parents set any consequences, but it's being reinforced by the judge's actions."

The writer of an op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor on Thursday said the case illustrated a "double standard" where poor kids "often go to jail for 20 years".

Mike Hashimoto, an editorial writer for Dallas News, wrote on Wednesday that "despite all the death in his wake, Ethan Couch didn't learn a thing he didn't already know.

"It's far better to come from that wealthy place where actions seldom h

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