Why was Ethan Couch fighting deportation from Mexico?

Latest news is that Ethan Couch (the “affluenza teen”) will stop fighting against deportation from the US.

Why was he fighting in the first place? His likely punishment for violating parole is a max of four months in a US prison, and I would have thought that awaiting trial/sentencing in a US jail would be less unpleasant than being in a Mexican jail.

Is there something I don’t know about Mexican jail? Is it awesome?

As I understand it, he’d do four months for THIS probation violation, but he still may be on probation for the full ten years, and if he screws up again during that time, he’s looking at the possibility of forty years in the Texas prison system.

On the other hand, he’s probably gotten a taste of the Mexican prison system now, and as bad as Texas is, Mexico is worse.

Serious question: Was Couch actually being detained in Mexico in a prison or was he in a local jail awaiting disposition of the extradition request?

Not every country makes a distinction between prisons and jails. I don’t know if Mexico does. In British English the terms are interchangeable, and either can be applied to any place of incarceration for people in official custody.

My guess is the latter, but is the distinction important? Is life in a Mexican jail better than life in a Mexican prison?

What is the distinction you are making between a jail and a prison? :confused:

Form my (very thankfully) limited knowledge, there is a fair distinction between a jail and prison, at least in America. It’s my understanding that jails are much less violent and less crowded. I could easily be wrong.

Ethan Couch is not in jail or in prison

Not exactly a hellhole. But probably no fun at all for the spoiled little darling…

but why assume that would apply in another country?

If he avoids extradition he won’t have to spend any more time in a Mexican jail or prison. He’s committed no crimes in Mexico.

It’s the exact opposite.

In the US, jails are generally run by the county sheriff and may hold people who have not been convicted of any crime, as they are awaiting trial. Those who are convicted and sent to jail are generally convicted of misdemeanors and have less than a year to serve. Jails generally have far fewer facilities, especially as regards recreation, hobby, library, rehab, education, and chapel services. Most jail inmates spend the vast majority of their time in their cells. Jails range from tiny facilities capable of handling a dozen or so people in tiny counties to huuuuge facilities which serve large cities.

Prisons are run by the individual US states and the Feds also have their own prison system. Folks in prison are generally convicted of felonies and are doing more than a year. Most states have more than one prison, and they range from maximum to medium to minimum security institutions, with some ‘supermax’ prisons in some states also. Inmates in the supermax prisons don’t often leave their cells, but as the security classification lessens, inmates have more opportunities to be out of their cells doing jobs, recreation, study, etc.

In my experience, most inmates in Wisconsin prefer to get from jail to prison as quick as possible, as prison offers more opportunities to do things besides just sit.

The above description is a gross generalization of how the incarceration system in the US works, and many many exceptions exist.

I hear the water in Mexico is better.

This makes the most sense; thanks.

I think the question was: if he fights extradition for 4 months (or something on that scale), then he’s being held captive for the same 4 months anyway, with the possibility of additional time if he loses the fight.

If the whole thing gets settled one way or another in a week, then what you’re saying makes sense.

I don’t think rational decision making is at the top of his or Mama Couch’s list.

I don’t know about this case, but in some cases a defendant who is fighting extradition can try to negotiate some and use waiver of extradition as a bargaining chip. Fighting an extradition battle can be a pain in the ass for prosecutors, and I suppose there is also a (slight) chance it won’t be successful.

I had one client fighting extradition from Germany once. The German prison/jail/holding facility was such a hell hole that the US would give a prisoner credit for two days served for every day someone spent there. So, fighting extradition for a year would take two years off your eventual sentence. I had the pleasure of visiting there, and I can safely say no one would do that for that purpose.

I don’t know what Mexican law on foreign visits are. I would guess that he showed up in Mexico as a tourist – would he be allowed to remain indefinitely? Presumably at some point, wouldn’t they deport him?

Maybe he could get a job doing yard work or picking farm crops. Kind of a new twist on the illegal immigrant thing.

I may be entirely wrong, but this was my understanding:

There was a lot of anger amongst the public with many people thinking he got a ridiculously light sentence. So most likely he was afraid (and legitimately so) that his latest mess-up could be used as an excuse for the next judge to go back and give him the full punishment for his earlier crime. Even a relatively small violation of the law could potentially carry a lengthy prison sentence, and occasionally judges do and have used their allowable sentencing discretion to punish people for crimes they were not actually convicted of.

The law is not necessarily fair; even small crimes can carry long potential sentences. In 2007, after being convicted for selling half an ounce of crack (worth $600), a federal judge in Washington D.C. sentenced a man named Antwuan Ball to 18 years in prison because he believed the defendant was guilty of a murder charge that the jury declined to convict him of.