This Thursday, CNN host Anderson Cooper grilled the psychologist who testified that 16-year-old Ethan Couch suffered from “affluenza” and could not be held responsible for killing four people while driving drunk.
In the hard-hitting interview with psychologist G. Dick Miller, Cooper pointed out that District Judge Jean Boyd sentenced a 14-year-old poor Black teen to a 10-year-sentence within the state’s juvenile justice system, while 16 year-old Ethan Couch, who is an affluent white teenager, was given a probationary sentence in a resort-like rehabilitation program.
“Why is that okay for a 14-year-old poor kid, but for a 16-year-old well-off kid, they get to go have equine therapy,” Cooper asked, referring to horse-riding activities Couch will have access to. “Does that seem fair?”
“There actually are black people who have money, Anderson,” Miller responded. “I don’t know why you continue to make this a racial thing. I treat all races.”
Prosecutors wanted Couch to receive the maximum 20-year sentence for the June 15 tragedy, when he killed Hollie and Shelby Boyles, Breanna Mitchell and Brian Jennings.
Miller testified that Couch’s parents neglected him while they were together, causing the teen to practically raise himself and use money to settle disputes instead of apologizing.
But according to a piece by Think Progress this week, Boyd has handed out harsher sentences for black teenagers, including a 14-year-old who was charged with punching a man who fell to the ground, hitting his head on concrete which resulted in his death.