Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Kim Ogg's Ever-Shifting Standards for Recusal

The Houston Chronicle had a "breaking story" today that the Harris County District Attorney's Office under Kim Ogg was recusing itself from the ultra-high publicity capital murder trial of Shannon Miles for the murder of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth.  Although the story may have been "breaking" news to the intrepid reporters of the Chronicle, the recusal was old news around the CJC and had been mentioned a couple of times here on the blog (in the comments).

The reason for the recusal was because Chief of Staff, Vivian King, had previously represented one or more witnesses involved in the case, including Miles' mother.

That's a relatively removed relationship to the case for Ogg to pull the plug, especially in comparison to her steadfast refusal to recuse the Office from the David Temple case.  The logic to recuse the Office from a case because a staff member represented a potential witness on the case versus not recusing the Office when a staff member represented the actual freaking defendant defies logic.

However, Kim Ogg's ever-shifting standards do make sense, I suppose, if you look at them from her political based motivations.  She took half a million dollars from liberal financier George Soros, and he's not a fan of the death penalty.  However, Shannon Miles is accused of executing a uniformed Harris County Deputy at point blank range.  In any other jurisdiction, the elected D.A. would be chomping at the bit to announce "The State is ready." in front of a jury.  The public would and should expect that, and I guarantee you that the police expect it, as well.

From a political standpoint, Ogg finds herself between a rock and a hard place.

Therefore, it is small wonder that she played the legal equivalent of Six-Degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon while trying to find a way to weasel out of the case.  

The decision to recuse the Office from Goforth/Miles case probably is the right decision in the big scheme of things.  However, as I've noted before the appearance of impropriety in all criminal cases . . .

. . . Not just the ones that Kim Ogg finds are too politically hot to touch.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

My guess is that's she'll do the same thing on Clint Greenwood's murder. If this turns out to be some kind of retaliatory hit, I wonder what kind of message that will send to her current staff and everyone else who ever worked at the DA's office?

Anonymous said...

Very well stated, Murray.

Anonymous said...

I just wonder who is going to pay for these recusals . Surely the county will demand that she cough up asset forfeiture money.

Anonymous said...

The county should create a Shadow DA's office, hire back half a dozen of the fired ADAs at a slightly higher pay than they were getting, and have them handle all the cases Kim won't. It would also encourage Kim to recuse on more cases so she can keep getting Soros money and the citizens of Harris County can keep getting death sentences on cop killers.

Anonymous said...

Now you see there, that's exactly why she recused her office from this case. Shannon Miles isn't eligible for the death penalty due to his mental issues at the time of the shooting and because Goforth was at the gas station to rendezvous with his mistress and wasn't killed during the performance of his official duties. Yet if Kim offered him a plea for LWOP everyone would raise hell. She was actually trying to save the county money but didn't want to weather the uproar. Now the state can get their death sentence and pay for all the appeals that follow which will eventually lead to a life sentence anyway. Sometimes your bias clouds your thinking to the point where you can't think clearly.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:28,

Can you think of any legitimate reason why Kim Ogg should not recuse herself from David Temple and allow the AG to handle his re-trial?

Anonymous said...

You think Miles is death-penalty ineligible, 12:28?

If the death penalty isn't pursued in that case it'll be solely because of Goforth's (and the multiple investigators busted fooling around with the same lady) actions, not because of Miles' mental state.

Personally, LWOP should be what every cop involved wants, lest their dirty laundry be aired. I don't think Harris County has a clothes line long enough for this one.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anon 12:28am, for verifying what we all already know: that Kim will always be opting to protect her reputation in the courts of political and public opinion, rather than making tough decisions based on her oath to seek justice and do what she believes is right (regardless of political cost). You know, the job she was ELECTED to do.

Got it. Good talk.

Anonymous said...

At this rate, the county will be bankrupted.

Anonymous said...

Y'all KNOW that if she hadn't recused the office you'd be screaming how unethical it is. This post is the most blatant example yet of how much mindless hateraid is really being served up here.

I don't disagree she should recuse the office on Temple, too. But everyone complaining about the cost of this recusal is really showing their true colors.

Anonymous said...

You missed the point. It's about the fact that she picks which cases she will recuse the office on based off politics and not any clear ethical standard. The fact that the office hasn't recused itself on Temple just blows the mind. Especially when you compare it to the recusal standard she applies on other cases.

Anonymous said...

Showing our true colors? How so? I didn't comment on whether I think the recusal is good or bad. It's a simple comment that at the rate things are going, the county, or at least the DA budget, will be wiped out. This was foreseeable as well. But as others pointed out, if this is her standard for recusal, then Temple is a no-brainer.

Anonymous said...

I hope the budget does get wiped out. The DA's office can start filling out vouchers and beg for dollars like the defense does. It must be tough being so spoiled and never having to beg for a court-appointed lawyer, funds for an expert that you may or may not get, or any number of other things that the other side has to put up with.

One of the largest law offices in the state, with all the personnel, dozens of investigative agencies that they don't have to pay for, expert resources, and millions of dollars, all of which can be brought to bear to prosecute anyone they wish, complaining about running out of money.

Cry me a river.

Anonymous said...

The Oggster has become a joke in three months. Impressive even for her.

Anonymous said...

She makes Lycos look good, I never dreamed there was anyone that could do that.

Anonymous said...

Lol 9:20am. Yes, let's deplete the budget completely. Let's not prosecute capital murders and murders. Step out of your own shoes for a minute and act like a member of the community. No citizen should want ANY budget depleted, including the DAs office. Yes, indigent defense deserves more money. Let's advocate for that. For more funds for investigators, to pay attorneys more for good work, etc. But not deplete the DA's budget. As members of the community we should be concerned about prosecuting some of the offenders out there.

You need to practice in some courts that appreciate defense attorneys and are willing to pay them and approve funds. They're out there. May be time to come up to more felony court.