Affluenza: 10 Rich People Who Got Away With Horrible Crimes
It often seems like there are two tracks that exist within our justice system: One for people who are poor and have little influence, and another for people who are rich and wield either political, business, or financial influence over the proceedings.
Check out some of the cases where rich people got off with absurdly light “punishments” for crimes they committed, and make a decision for yourself.
Ever since his wife vanished three decades ago, millionaire Robert Durst has been in the public eye under suspicion for her murder. He was never convicted of that crime, although he was the only person that knew of her whereabouts that night.
Later, he moved to Galveston, Texas, where he posed as a mute woman and rented a cheap apartment. He confessed to killing his friend and neighbor, Morris Black — he says it was in a dispute over a gun — and chopping up his body in order to hide it in a nearby lake. Even though he confessed to killing a person and mutilating his body, a Texas jury found him not guilty.
Now, he might finally face justice, as he was recently ordered to return to Los Angeles to face trial for another murder — this time, of his best friend Susan.
The term “affluenza” made its way into pop culture after it was used by a psychologist testifying at Ethan Couch’s trial. The psychologist used the term to explain that Couch had led such a privileged life he didn’t believe there could be consequences for his actions.
Ethan Couch was arrested after killing four people while he was drunk and speeding in his car. Since Couch, aged 16, was a minor at the time of the crime, there was a lot of discretion available to the judge for sentencing. Couch was charged with intoxicated manslaughter, but only received four years probation — no jail time.
Although drugs and alcohol seem to be just part of the landscape when you’re a rockstar, ex-Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri proved that there really are different standards for drug possession the richer you get.
When police raided his house and found it full of cocaine and meth, Oliveri took his wife hostage with a shotgun rather than hand over the drugs. The standoff lasted four hours, and although a SWAT team showing up at your house usually means you’re in huge trouble, Oliveri got off light — he was only given probation and ordered to go to anger management.
However, the scandal did affect Oliveri’s career, and he was frequently booed off the stage before Queens of the Stone Age fired him.