Outraged Americans petition Gov. Perry to remove judge in ‘affluenza’ DUI case

ethan couch victims
Photo via Last Resistance

Outraged Americans are petitioning Gov. Rick Perry to immediately remove from the bench the Texas judge who bought into the controversial “affluenza defense” and sentenced Ethan Couch to 10-years probation after his reckless drunk driving accident killed four people.

Though multiple reports have said Judge Jean Boyd was expected to retire and not seek reelection in 2014, that isn’t soon enough or good enough for many across the nation who are disgusted by what seemed an awfully lenient sentence for an underage drunk driver who murdered four and injured seven more people.

Judge Jean Boyd
AP Photo via The Dallas Morning News

The following petition was started by Terrence Green from Dallas and published on Change.org. Green wrote:

Judge Boyd gave a child probabtion for Killing four people while driving drunk an with Valiums in his system.

Prior to sentencing, a psychologist called by the defense, Dr. G. Dick Miller, testified that Couch’s life could be salvaged with one to two years’ treatment and no contact with his parents.

Investigators said Couch was driving a pickup truck between 68 and 70 miles-per-hour in a 40 mph zone. The four who died were standing on the side of the road outside their vehicle. Nine others were hurt.

Miller said Couch’s parents gave him “freedoms no young person should have.” He called Couch a product of “affluenza,” where his family felt that wealth bought privilege and there was no rational link between behavior and consequences.

He said Couch got whatever he wanted. As an example, Miller said Couch’s parents gave no punishment after police ticketed the then-15-year-old when he was found in a parked pickup with a passed out, undressed 14-year-old girl.

Miller also pointed out that Couch was allowed to drive at 13. He said the teen was emotionally flat and needed years of therapy. At the time of the fatal wreck, Couch had a blood alcohol content of .24, said Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson. It is illegal for a minor to drive with any amount of alcohol in his or her system.

Judge Boyd could have sentenced Couch to up to 20 years.

Defense attorneys asked that he be sent to a small, private home in California, which offers intensive one-on-one therapy. They said Couch’s father would pay the entire $450,000 price tag.

Prosecutors pointed out that the juvenile justice system also offers counseling.

These four lives have to be worth something. basically because his family is rich the judge is sayign it’s ok.

Interestingly, in March 2012, Judge Jean Boyd sentenced a 14-year-old black teen to 10-years in prison for punching Mark Gregory who died after hitting his head on the pavement, according to a report from WFAA-TV News 8.

Though the judge tried to send the black teen to a rehabilitation facility like Couch will attend, “no one would take him,” Gregory’s mother Anita Lauterbach told the news station.

“We were horrified. We just couldn’t believe it. The district attorney and I were just sitting on pins and needles. But, when nobody would take him, [it was] a sigh of relief,” Lauterbach said.

According to the article, “Lauterbach said she’s still disgusted at her experience with the judge.”

“She’s too easy on them,” Lauterbach said. “I don’t think she needs to be sitting on that bench.”

Watch a report from WFAA News 8 here:

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