Saturday, December 14, 2013

"Affluenza": Just when you thought it couldn't get worse.

Thanks to Patrick O'Grady for sending me this cartoon
the last time it came up
Patrick's own thoughts on that version of judicial
malfeasance are here,

Once again, readers can see why I put the Zappa quote up above.

Remember your Plutarch. In his “Lives,” writing of the Athenian statesman Solon, Plutarch said the philosopher Anacharsis “laughed at him for imagining the dishonesty and covetousness of his countrymen could be restrained by written laws, which were like spiders’ webs, and would catch, it is true, the weak and poor, but easily be broken by the mighty and rich.”  --Patrick O'Grady, in a "Friday's Foaming Rant."

Damn. I miss those rants.

 From yesterday's New York Times: " recent days, the implications of being rich have set off an emotional, angry debate that has stretched far beyond the North Texas suburbs, after a juvenile court judge sentenced a 16-year-old from a well-off family to 10 years’ probation for killing four people in a drunken-driving crash...Judge Jean Boyd did not discuss her reasoning for her order, but it came after a psychologist called by the defense argued that Mr. Couch should not be sent to prison because he suffered from “affluenza” — a term that dates at least to the 1980s to describe the psychological problems that can afflict children of privilege."

That should worry us in BombTown. With the highest per capita wealth in New Mexico, our county has sufficient examples of spoiled, irresponsible people, and at least one judge who has been quite liberal, dare I say soft-headed, with "get outa jail" cards for very serious offenses, as described in this victim's statement.

I think most of us have always known that the scales of justice can be tipped your way if you add enough status, power, or money.  Judge Jean Boyd in Texas has just made that a de jure rather than de facto rule. No more need for even a wink-wink, nudge-nudge when collecting your Get Out of Jail pass. Just include your (or your parent's) tax return in your exculpatory evidence packet. Of course, that's what happened when Martin Erzinger splattered a cyclist, Colorado Dr. Steven Milo, all over the road up near Vail and and that District Attorney and Judas Iscariot of justice, Mark Hurlbert, pleaded for mercy for the wealthy motorist because “felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger’s profession.”

Fer Fuck sakes! Felony behavior has some serious implications for the victim, such as the guy being scraped up off the road dead or with life changing injuries or, closer to home, the homeowner walking in unexpectedly on an armed burglar and losing his faith in the community, if not his or her life.

So be careful out there. If the guy who splatters you all over the road is driving a shiny Mercedes or has parents in the top two percent, the courts can now add "affluenza" to "gee, Your Honor, I just didn't see him" in the list of valid defenses.

For the flip side of this lame excuse, "Povertenza", go here.

And to leave on a positive note.....

Cash leading the way back down to Camp May from the ridgeline on Friday the 13th
Dogs don't let this shit get them down.


bikeolounger said...

You'll enjoy the first part of this response, I suspect.

Steve A said...

I think, as a Perry appointee, Judge Boyd doesn't quite fit the "liberal" tag. It would be interesting to hear the judge's justification. Perry appointment at

Khal said...

The Povertenza essay is priceless.