Teenager’s Sentence in Fatal Drunken-Driving Case Stirs ‘Affluenza’ Debate

This article considers how wealth affects experiences of the criminal justice system and punishment.

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Wealth has never had a stigma in the affluent suburbs of Fort Worth, where the town of Westlake landed, to no one’s surprise, on Forbes’ list of America’s most affluent neighborhoods last year with a median income of $250,000.

But in 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. Read more...