This Week: March 03, 2016

The case of Shannon Miles, accused of the murder of Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth, has officially become a theater of the absurd.  The murder of Deputy Goforth occurred during a string of highly publicized officer killings that played out across the country.  The result was a declaration by law enforcement, including the local elected Sheriff and DA here in Harris County, that there was a “war against the police.”  However, in the months that followed one of the murders in Illinois turned out to be an elaborately staged suicide and Goforth’s murder has proven to be anything but part of a larger scale “war on police.”

Instead the murder case has exposed a dirty, seedy, scandalous underbelly of law enforcement and our criminal justice system.  First, the trial judge in the case recused herself without a motion from either side and without any explanation whatsoever.  Then the defense leveled allegations that Deputy Goforth may not have actually been on duty that night (which the state is required to prove in order to sustain a capital murder charge in this case) because he was meeting with a woman who he was having an affair with.  Next, news broke that that same woman had not only begun a sexual relationship with the lead investigator on the Goforth case, Craig Clopton, but that she also had relationships with two other Harris County Sheriff’s deputies.  And just when you thought you had seen enough with this shit show, making Absinthe at Ceasar’s Palace seem G rated family show, along comes Senator John Whitmire.

Ironically, Senator Whitmire has historically been on the defense side of almost every criminal justice issue in recent memory. However, following the February 9th finding that Miles was mentally incompetent to stand trial Senator Whitmire (who, oh by the way, is the Chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee) decided to take it upon himself to try and speed up Miles transfer to the Vernon State Hospital where he will be evaluated to see if his mental competency can be restored.  The Senator’s actions are troubling and have raised a lot of eyebrows across the legal community and have raised serious questions about whether or not his actions violate the separation of powers.

This week on Reasonable Doubt we will discuss the Senator’s actions with our guests, Mike Driver and Joseph Ruiz.  We also will look at why HPD amazingly seems to never declare any officer involved shootings “unjustified,” and debate whether or not emoticons can legally rise to the level of a threat.  Join us this Thursday at 8pm.

About Jimmy Ardoin

Jimmy Ardoin is criminal and civil lawyer practicing predominately in federal courts both in Texas and across the country. You can find out more about Jimmy at his website, and you can follow him on Twitter @jimmyardoin.


  1. “has officially become a theater of the absurd…”

    I totally agree. Have no idea what to believe / think about this case anymore. There has to be some shady stuff going on that we don’t even know about…because the stuff we do know about is completely whack!