The flip side of the "affluenza" defense

Have there been cases in which a person has been judged not guilty (or given a lighter sentence), because his ***poverty ***prevented him from being taught right from wrong?

I believe the key of the defense was that the parents over-indulged him - let him get away with anything because they couldn’t say no to their precious angel. Money only entered into it because (a) rich meant he got what he wanted in terms of possessions, too, (b) their wealth could buy his way out of most problems including © hiring expensive lawyers to argue that he should not go to jail for causing 4 deaths.

A poor person could argue the same, but without clever lawyers and paid psychiatric experts, probably wouldn’t have the same impact; but it seems to me the “broken home” and "poverty’ defenses amount to the same thing as affluenza - “this child has never been taught clean-cut American values”.

[QUOTE=md2000;19008675
A poor person could argue the same, but without clever lawyers and paid psychiatric experts, probably wouldn’t have the same impact; but it seems to me the “broken home” and "poverty’ defenses amount to the same thing as affluenza - “this child has never been taught clean-cut American values”.[/QUOTE]

So would that person be suffering from poorlio?

In California, one of the possible mitigating factors for a crime can be: "The defendant was motivated by a desire to provide necessities for his or her family or self; "
So if a defendant is motivated by poverty to commit a crime they are eligible for a lighter sentence, but not if the poverty made it so they were not taught right from wrong.
The Indian supreme court recently had a ruling that poverty could be a mitigating circumstance in capital cases.

I think Jean Valjean used that defense.

I LOLed.

And if you are shopping addict you can claim newmonia.

Ethan Couch was convicted. He was given probation instead of jail time.

I have to believe that many thousands of people have been shown leniency for crimes because of poverty, coming from a broken home, abusive situations, or any number of other mitigating circumstances. It would be rare for a crime as serious as this to go to probation, true, although he was a juvenile and that alone would sometimes mitigate.

But if this is the unique case everybody says it is, then by definition there are no exactly opposite cases on the poverty side.

It seems to me that arguing “a difficult childhood” is a common defense used in cases where actual guilt of the crime is undeniable. (I can’t bring to mind any specific examples though.) The Crouch case isn’t unique in that sense. However, the difficulty usually refers to growing up in poverty, surrounded by violence. It’s strange that building sympathy for a kid who’s had too good a life actually worked.

Too-broke-ulosis?

Did it work though? That seems to be asserted by the media and may very well be true. But was his probation out of line with what other kids his age have received for a similar crime? I never saw that comparison made or direct evidence that the affluenza defense was a big factor.

Not that I’m suggesting I have any sympathy for this character, who appears to be a sociopath. But I am curious about the legal details and how out of the ordinary his sentence really was. I guess that is a question for the lawyers on the board.

Smallbux?