There's No Defense for Affluenza Essay

There's No Defense for Affluenza Essay

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"The Affluenza Defense: Judge Rules Rich Kid’s Rich Kid-ness Makes Him Not Liable for Deadly Drunk Driving Accident" -- Madison Gray, Time.com


The relationship between motive and consequence is a complex one, and is made even more debatable when context becomes involved. Throughout our judicial history, the line between responsibility and exemption remains razor-thin in its subjectivity. If a woman murders her husband, but was abused by him for years, why is this considered different from a murder where the perpetrator wasn’t abused? We take these mitigating factors into account in court, but they present a unique problem. How much and which extenuating circumstances are enough to change the conviction? Precedents are continually being set as new mental conditions are discovered or gain new validity, so we must be able to discern the difference between defenses that are legitimate, and the Twinkie defenses. Twinkie defenses are those, which carry no reasonable justification for diminishing the mental capacity of the defendant. The ambiguity of what we know of the mind creates this conflict, so it is important that we consider the context with care.

A new defense known as ‘Affluenza’ was very recently introduced into this family of mitigating factors. Affluenza claims that when an individual grows up in or is subjected to an affluent environment where the real world is shielded from them, they are unable to make the connection between their actions and their consequences. Affluenza says that the access to an excess of all the things money can buy comes at the expense of all the things money cannot buy. With the absence of even the most basic role modeling of the relationship between cause and...


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...l Of Behavioral & Applied Management 11.3 (2010): 232-248. Academic Search Premier. Web. 09 Mar. 2014.

Hobson, Jeremy. "The ‘Affluenza’ Defense." Here Now RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2014. .

"Weekday Schedule." Newport Academy. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2014. .

Lunther, Suniya, and Shawn Latendresse. "Children of the Affluent: Challenges to Well Being." Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2014. .

de Graaf, J., Wann, D., Naylor, T. H., & Horsey, D. (2001). Affluenza: The all-consuming epidemic. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Whitely, Jason. "Sentence given to Teen in Deadly Drunk Driving Crash Spurs Backlash." WFAA Wfaa.com. ABC, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2014.

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