Affluenza: our current stop as we 'progress' down the road of MADD policy...
The Ft. Worth Texas AP recently reported a teen from an affluent family was only sentenced to probation for killing four people after he lost control of his father's company F-350 truck while speeding and driving drunk. This absurd 'punishment' in relation to his crime outraged the victims' families and left prosecutors disappointed. The 16-year-old offender was sentenced in juvenile court (for this very adult crime) to only 10 years of probation; he confessed to intoxication manslaughter in the reckless crash he caused on a rural Texas road.
Prosecutors sought the 20 yr. maximum in State custody for the killer, but his attorneys appealed to District Judge Jean Boyd arguing the teen needed rehabilitation, not prison, according to the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. If the boy continues to be cushioned by his family's wealth, another tragedy is inevitable, prosecutor Richard Alpert said in court. Alpert was quoted with, "There can be no doubt that he will be in another courthouse one day blaming the lenient treatment he received here," in the Star-Telegram who also reported authorities said the teen and friends were seen on surveillance video stealing two cases of beer from a store. Little doubt defense attorneys also considered blaming this store's failure to prevent these affluent thieves from acquiring this killer's input instead of also holding these young criminals accountable for their actions in aiding and abetting the killings.
The killer teen had seven passengers in his father's F-350; speeding with a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit, according to testimony during the trial. The truck slammed into four innocent people, recklessly killing youth minister Brian Jennings, 43; Breanna Mitchell, 24; Shelby Boyles, 21; and Shelby's 52-year-old mother, Hollie Boyles.
Judge Boyd said programs available in the Texas juvenile justice system may not (seems she was too busy to inquire or verify) provide the kind of intensive therapy the teen could receive at the rehabilitation center near Newport Beach, CA promoted by the killer's defense attorneys. I forecast 20 years in prison to keep this killer off our roads may be intensive enough to proffer the result his parents clearly failed to accomplish. Instead, these affluent parents pick up the tab for the Newport Beach stay at a price of more than $450,000 a year for treatment to accomplish their end of delaying maturation by further insulating this despicable killer from his actions. Dare I type those suffering loss of the four souls (listed above) would be better served with this sum?
Perhaps the victims of 'Killer Teen' will receive a more socially productive result in a civil trial to bankrupt these failed parents and his father's company thus allowing their wealth and assets to move toward those who lost and make way to other construction companies with better ethics. The hope being there won't be anyone else affluent and foolish enough to pay Killer's $450,000/yr. bill to stay in Newport Beach and he'll be correctly resentenced to 20 years. This would keep one less killer animal off the Zoo our roads have become where he may possibly mature; indeed much more difficult to begin so much later in life after Killer's 16 years of poor parenting.
Scott Brown, Killer's lead defense attorney, said he could have been freed after two years if he received the 20 year sentence. Attorneys aren't allowed as much influence over future parole hearings to garner as handsome a paycheck for their services from Killer's affluent parents. Nothing like adding this insult to the loss of those in grief and despair citing how sentencing for affluent killers (and other property crimes) are let off, as others convicted of victimless crimes must serve all/most of the assigned sentence regardless of good behaviour and overwhelming evidence of rehabilitation. Brown asserted Judge Boyd "fashioned a sentence that could have him under the thumb of the justice system for the next 10 years," according to the Star-Telegram.
Relatives of those further victimized by Killer's recklessness found little solace in Brown's assertion. Eric Boyles (who lost his wife and daughter) said the family's wealth helped the teen avoid incarceration. "Money always seems to keep you out of trouble," Boyles said in the Star-Telegram report. "Ultimately today, I felt that money did prevail. If you had been any other youth, I feel like the circumstances would have been different." Other quotes included Shaunna Jennings (the minister's widow) who said her family had forgiven the teen but believed a sterner punishment was needed. "You lived a life of privilege and entitlement, and my prayer is that it does not get you out of this," Mrs. Jennings said. "My fear is that it will get you out of this."
The expert defense witness psychologist testified Killer suffered from "affluenza," growing up in a house where the parents were preoccupied with arguments which resulted in divorce. The Star-Telegram reported this expert (Gary Miller) said the father "does not have relationships, he takes hostages," and the mother was indulgent. "Her mantra was that if it feels good, do it," Miller said. "Affluenza" is the inevitable result of MADD policies, the ultimate in 'feel good' politics over rationally written laws and their enforcement. This sort of political sophistry may provide immediate 'warm fuzzies' trumping up DUI rules, rehabilitation sentencing, etc. to increase government revenues, empower more bureaucrats and redistribute wealth to politically connected facilities. It does little to deter destructive driving outcomes which take lives, mind, body, spirit and property. Too bad mothers went mad instead of using rational anger to advance strong sentencing of reckless drivers (which may include their own children) who harm others - PERIOD. Drunk or otherwise, the result is the same. The immediate gain of removing reckless drivers who kill (or damage w/o making their victims whole monetarily) is thinning out the Zoo our roads have become with too many killer animals of this sort subsidized to drive without bearing the costs/consequences proffering our current unsafe result.
Sadly, Texas is not alone in this Zoo outcome which seems to be alive and thriving well here in 5th placed Alabama (immediately below 4th placed TX) as recently reported by Larry Copeland in USA Today which provided statistics affirming we also have some of the worst drivers in the States. This was NOT always true from my observation. When I first arrived in Alabama (leaving SC's recently mandated auto insurance to observe reckless driving subsidized there) it was not the morass I've witness these past several years. Teen drivers seemed sorry about their recklessness, didn't quibble about their fault and their insurance companies PAID... the more likely result when insurance is not mandated and there is more competition against poor performing companies who do not pay claims - i.e., more difficult to collude without the government enforced cartel.
Today, the more politically connected insurance companies seem more interested in 'framing' instead of paying victims and manipulate the process to subsidize reckless drivers, exacerbating the Zoo result Alabama drivers suffer today. I'll simply call them "Framers" who give to powerful politicians' campaigns, spend money advertising on the media owned by the politician(s), etc. The big insurance outfits (I'll call them ZooWreck) also promote the Zoo result supporting underwriters like Framers who facilitate wealth transfers in their favour when successful at getting others to pay claims which are ZooWreck's responsibility. As Obamacare - Medicare/Medicaid pays for increasingly more reckless driver injuries (esp. the really big bills incurred which end in fatality or long term intensive care) do you really think ZooWreck will offer lower premiums in such an uncompetitive environment proffered by Republocrats like Mike Hubbard?
Sad how quickly most forget big government 'Mother Hubbard' is responsible for mandating auto insurance (AutoObamacare) in our State as they applaud his (and Gov. Bentley) call for amnesty from federal medical Obamacare. All this means is a high end 'public servant' like Hubbard was not paid enough (by the Affluenza type 'mental health' special interest and others who lobbied for/plan to benefit from Obamacare mandates) to also advocate for this similarly deleterious policy. Gov. Bentley appears to be a 'high-end political prostitute' trainee learning the 'oldest profession' from Byrne, Hubbard, et al type 'public servants' on the BCA corporate welfare tit impeding our State economy.
In short, the days of our once functioning uninsured motorist and jurists who went after those who don't pay for reckless results are over. We now have Hubbard's AutoObamacare mandates which increased premiums to where 1 in 4 motorists decided to be uninsured. This result pleases prostitute politicos who enjoy the benefits of selling out Alabama consumers and boast more revenue to big government cronies who receive more revenue from police writing tickets to those without insurance instead of doing the more difficult job of making cases against reckless drivers. The increase in uninsured motorists gives Hubbard the green light to spend even more State resources to verify insurance and enforce the cartel he's created as the madness continues and proliferates with higher premiums and unpaid claims.
Yet again, MADD policies carry the day as judges and juries succumb to parents (which includes immoral fathers, not just mothers) doing anything to continue insulating the despicable children they've spawned and created; further increasing the likelihood they'll never be a positive part of society. From my observations, I long for the pre-mandated days when insurance companies paid their responsibilities and passed on increased premiums to those who earned them. Perhaps I'm spoiled to still have my first vehicle and until recently still drove my second vehicle (a quarter century and 300,000 miles) until stolen by a Lee County jury refusing to discipline a reckless driver I'll call 'Lightening Teen' and his insurance company.
Lightening Teen was racing with another reckless driver I barely missed (thanks to the amazing braking system on my Charger Daytona) who made an illegal left turn in front of me. Lightening, more interested in the race, simply followed directly behind the car he was racing and smashed into my vehicle when making his illegal left turn. When a "Framers Insurance" adjuster (who came to total my vehicle) made the connection he'd also wrote-up Lightening Teen's vehicle, he said he thought it'd flown off the road at highway speeds and hit a tree or power pole.
Just as Killer Teen's father did all he could to manipulate the jurist for his child, the same was true for Lightening. The Lee Co. jury let Lightening off so my insurance paid $4,000 in towing, medical bills, loss of vehicle use and $49,000 for my vehicle so other responsible drivers who actually pay their inflated insurance premiums subsidize the jury's decision to let Lightening off. The only reason to take a case to court (when you know you're going to get paid anyway) is to at least incur some cost on reckless drivers and get them to lie on the stand where they're disciplined at the more important final judgment.
The next (most recent) illustration was when a driver I'll call 'Screaming Teen' smashed her mustang convertible into the rear of my bride's Impala as I was almost stopped to avoid another reckless driver who (in my opinion) was also responsible for my being struck. Screaming Teen apparently was ranting on a cell phone about her boyfriend's (in the passenger seat) haircut in preparation for military service. Thankfully, this soon to be soldier had the presence of mind (at highway speed) to pull up the emergency brake in between the seats to lock the rear wheels and reduce the vehicle from further acceleration while Screaming was still on the gas pedal. Framers again refused to pay – actually said they'd pay a third and asked my bride (in writing) to commit insurance fraud to also submit a claim with her insurance for the rest. She refused and turned it over to the State Insurance Commissioner copied to Speaker Hubbard. Both did nothing. Little wonder since it was Framers/ZooWreck type insurance bureaucrats suborning insurance fraud in writing; but we still wonder how the vehicle was totaled (using their absurd 1/3 'fair' market evaluation unable to provide a comparable vehicle for the this amount) WITHOUT having to turn in the title or any other verification of being a total loss. The Alabama Insurance Commissioner was disinterested in that fraud as well... yet another State agency to dissolve. Do insurance companies really require anymore government advocates once Mother Hubbard type political hacks mandate so much market power in their favour?
More injured by Screaming Teen, the brain injury (evidenced by the huge head rest indentation) reduced ability to accomplish work which requires peak load mental focus to about 70%. Thankfully (beyond the neck damage and permanent ear ringing which is maddening at times) it is not very bothersome on endeavours which do not require great thought. Again, Lee County jurists didn't discipline Screaming Teen only awarding twice what Framers offered which didn't even pay lost earnings. Again, it doesn't make sense for individuals like me to waste my time and money in the courts, but at least it imposes some cost on reckless drivers since Hubbard type politicians are more interested in campaign contributions, ad revenue, govt. receipts from red-light cameras, ticketing safe drivers who simply pay, etc. Furthermore Framers must spend time and money to defend their reckless drivers attempting to please ZooWreck bigwigs.
I include the Affluenza episodes I've witnessed to illustrate how our affluent teens are similarly treated in Alabama. I make no claim damage/loss I've suffered can compare to Killer Teen's devastation in Texas - the loss of youth minister Brian Jennings alone is greater than the sum of all my positive contribution to society. Nonetheless, the smaller things no longer accomplished (even by poor example like myself) add up as good folks adjust under Hubbard's Alabama AutoObamacare that Framers/ZooWreck types respond to and successfully manipulate toward these easily predictable results. The fact that I still can not find another Charger Daytona for $49,000 I've held these past years speaks for itself - I'm not certain I'd bother buying if I did... it would simply be another nice vehicle in our barn no longer driven in fear of being another casualty of Affluenza theft.
I no longer make unnecessary trips, most notable my every 28 day donation for cancer patients. Much more involved than simply giving blood, it requires a specific trip to meet one's appointment and takes several hours out of one's day to accomplish - time I'm much less able to afford post injury. I relished taking one of our nice vehicles (1969 Mark III was a favourite) as a treat while sharing my blessing of good health with others. Now, I only give blood when I'm past the 56 day interval and happen to be passing LifeSouth with 40 minutes to spare. All our nice vehicle stay in barn; occasionally run; rarely driven; untagged and untaxed. Dare I type I paid more in tax per day than most any other Lee County driver for the dozen or so days a year I drove that beautiful Mark III to donate. Needless to say I also don't insure it (at what would be just under $30,000 today) since it is no longer wise to drive it on our Zoo roadways which no longer respect life, liberty and property.
My reduced income (by over $12,000/yr.) means less contribution and no unnecessary trips to our Church foodbank - something I also miss, but much like getting used to living in an inferior house (with only one bath, no dining room, etc.) one adjusts from once having a nice home. This is how an economy contracts when productive people who've had their health, home, time, vehicles, etc. wrongfully taken, simply quit participating to support thieves - esp. 'public servants' like Messrs. Barron, Bedford, Hubbard, Riley Seigleman, et al types. It is clear men of this character and integrity can not understand this economic reality which sadder still pales in comparison to the detriment of our Holy Spirit and the general welfare to ourselves and our posterity. In closing, I'll make 'a call to arms' for others (as affluenza proliferates) to donate to cancer patients, churches, food banks, etc. as those like myself are taken out of the pool blessed with the health, wealth and time to do so.