Questions surround judge in 'affluenza' case

    1:38 PM, Dec 13, 2013   |    comments
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    DALLAS (CNN) -- A Texas teen kills four people in a drunken driving crash and a judge gives him 10 years probation. It's a case that's sparked outrage all over the nation with many questioning the judge's decision.

    Ethan Couch's case exposes a controversial part of the justice system. Should juveniles go to prison if they kill someone? Retired state district judge John Cruezot said, "The law almost assumes they can be rehabilitated."

    Cruezot says the criticism against Judge Jean Boyd is unfair. Ethan Couch is white from a wealthy family and got probation for a drunk driving crash that killed four people.

    But Cruezot says the judge was following the law. He said, "We don't know any of the information that was given to the judge and what she had to take into consideration to come to the conclusion and, without that, it's hard to say she made a bad decision."

    But we discovered the same judge sent a 14-year-old African-American boy to prison last year for killing just one person after punching him to the ground. Cruezot said, "She wanted to send him to one of these special places in Arizona. I want to say there was one in Indiana but no one would take him."

    The victim's mother says the judge wasn't racist. She just wants to treat teenagers rather than punish them. Anita Lauterbach said, "She's too easy on them. I don't think she needs to be sitting on that bench."

    Cruezot said, "Far worse consequences and a far worse outcome for sure but the intent was far different."

    The violent aspect is likely why the 14-year-old didn't get treatment, Jamison Monroe says. He runs Newport Academy in California, the rehabilitation center where couch is going. Monroe said, "What a lot of people don't understand is that juvenile courts are actually created to reform as opposed to adults criminal systems are designed to punish people."

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