The death penalty needs to be carried out in such a way it becomes a deterrent to crime again. None of them fear going asleep for the last time, nor does anyone else who considers being a criminal. Public executions with the convict writhing around and screaming in pain is a deterrent. Until that happens – criminals have no fear. – “Texas Police News”
Northwest Houston – Out in the Styx, on Highway 6, the population mushroomed over a period of a few decades in the most phenomenal growth seen in American history. Rice fields and scrubby cross timbers turned to Californicated sprawl in a right triangle bounded by Katy Freeway, Highway 290 to Austin, and Fry Road on the west. Thousands of jackrabbits with ears a yard high shared a prairie as level as a pool table with feeder cows and calves, its tricky drainage controlled by two massive U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood plains.
A few years later, a “Washington Post” journalist tagged the fourth largest city in the U.S. as a twin capital of “Mex-America,” sharing the tripartite class with Mexico City and another petroleum boom town, Los Angeles – one of “The Nine Nations of North America.”
In the spirit of the era’s go, cat, go enthusiasm, probably no one envisioned what kind of black-hearted murder machine it would become. A young Dan Rather journalized its explosive nature, basso profundo, on CBS KHOU -TV11, calling it “the murder capital of America” when the homicide rate topped all others in American metropolitan areas.
Prosecutors and cops see the UCR (uncleared crime rate) as the only real indicator of their true performance – in which reported offenses are cleared by arrest and court disposition to lower the factor as an indicator pointing to the all-important figure, the CCR (cleared crime rate).
Homicide detectives always used the “rap sheet” as a tool to find suspects, then break down the character of their ways in the little interrogation rooms at police headquarters. Though the information is excepted from public scrutiny by law, they readily made the details of suspects’ criminal history available to journalists seeking information about the clearance of that most heinous crime – murder.
They still do.
According to a criminal history of Miles Shannon published in a law and order newsletter, the man accused of the back-shooting murder of a 10-year veteran uniformed patrolman of the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, Darren Goforth, the man who will face prosecution as a cop killer who, unprovoked, shot a man while he was pumping gas into his vehicle at a filling station in a northwest Houston suburb, began his ignominious crime spree in 2005.
Only the arrests in which a conviction was obtained are listed, but they number seven, all of them cleared within a matter of days by arrest and conviction for misdemeanor offenses.
The location of the officer’s murder is only a few miles from the place where Sandra Bland faced arrest for a traffic offense and allegedly committed suicide by hanging in a cell at the Waller County Jail at Hempstead.
The University of Houston Police Department arrested him for the Class B misdemeanor the failure to identify on February 15, and he was convicted in County Court at Law on the 17, two days later.
On July 4, police arrested him for the State Jail Felony of Criminal Mischief amounting to more than $1,500 and less than $20,000. Prosecutors obtained a conviction through his guilty plea to the offense at the lowered rate of more than $50 and less than $500, a Class B misdemeanor.
In early October, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office apprehended him for failure to identify when charged with resisting arrest, search, or transportation, a Class A misdemeanor for which he was convicted in County Court at Law two days later, on October 4, 2005.
It was not until New Year’s Eve of 2006 that prosecutors accepted a charge of the Class B misdemeanor of disorderly conduct in the display of a firearm. They convicted him on January 2.
On May 3, 2007, Jersey Village Police arrested Shannon for evading arrest, a Class B misdemeanor for which they convicted him later that week, on May 7.
Harris County Deputies arrested him for criminal trespassing, a Class B misdemeanor, on May 12, 2007, and he entered a plea of guilty on May 17 in a County Court at Law.
In a final conviction, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officers arrested Shannon for resisting arrest, and prosecutors reached a disposition in the case on January 30, one day later.
A reader of the “Texas Police News” responded to the published report of Miles Shannon’s rap sheet by entering the comment, “This tard has signed his death warrant. Please expedite his euthanization. (sic)”