Richard Glossip was executed on September 30th, 2015 according to Newsweek, and his recent attorneys. however that was not true. A mysterious stay of execution was granted, just hours after an email had been sent to Federal Tenth Circuit Chief Justice Mary Briscoe on her last day on the bench. A letter born from my strange new relationship with Glossip’s first attorney — Wayne Fournerat.
Judge Briscoe knew Wayne alright, she had sent the feds to have him rest up up for a bit when his actions towards the court because what I called in the letter “inappropriately adamant.” Wayne perhaps had bee driven a little mad by trying to take on the Oklahoma City Prosecutor’s office and legendary prized gunslinger Bob Macy. So to speak. But while the time ticked down to Gossip’s execution , I lucked out and found a slew of yet undiscovered arrest records of the person who testified against Glossip the most, a fishy man who wore too many hats named Cliff Everhart. This and a hidden police report that corroborated a story that “crazy Wayne” had been trying to tell for years since he lost Richard Glossip’s first trial. Or should I say not crazy at all. Or a testament of what the system can do to even the lawyers who fight rogue prosecutors like Macy. Richards case is pending, but he is alive.
Here is a glimpse into the intensity that was the impending execution.
Sister Prejean had brought with her a wild orgy of international, anti death-penalty fanatics to stop the madness , which Wayne was happy about at first. Until he realized they didn’t get or care what he was saying at all, the nun and her followers resting their case entirely on vilifying the coerced, lying and bought off accomplice, Jusin Sneed, whose claim was: that while Glossip might not have killed the Motel owner – like he did, Glossip was the mastermind, he ordered Sneed to do it, and for singing to the cops, was spared his life. This might be true thought Wayne, but Prejean and her group were missing the point: the exploding brief case, and all the money, 23 thousand and 100 dollars sprayed with blue dye in the trunk of the dead man.
Despite the fact Wayne could provide no proof, as his “files were confiscated by the Feds,” he knew he was right – no matter what they said – and they were losing. All appeals by Glossip’s new lawyers had been denied and doom was setting in again.
His own past failings haunting him, Wayne became increasingly frantic as Glossip, the client he failed, was now set to suffer the same gruesome fate as a recent botched Oklahoma execution — Clayton Lockett – and the executioner’s needle.
A mild mannered civil attorney in Oklahoma City, striving to make a name for himself – to show his father he was “a player.” An ill fated path prodding to come out swinging in a criminal arena dominated by a giant, legendary heavy weight gunslinger – District Attorney, “Cowboy” Bob Macy.
“Are you kidding Wayne? – you must be nuts,” Macy said.
And he was right.
Now there were just remnants of the beaten wannabe – in his voice, in what he feared, what he denied, the horror he saw in a broken justice system he’d dared to cross could now be seen in the coming main event – drawing international crowds to jeer, mock and plead to the Oklahoma barbarian hillbillies.
Whatever Wayne saw happen to Clayton Lockett was now a ticking time bomb, a preview of coming events for Richard Glossip, to happen in just 12 days – the eyes’ memories now projected backwards into the dark knower. He puts his mind at Lockett’s execution – searching for ways to punish himself for who he could not be. Arriving, like any living soul, into the cold, sterile, gray-green witness room, taking his seat behind the blue-gray rubbery blinds, and reading the simple instructions on the wall – the directions on how to descend into Hell:
What to Expect Before, During and After the Execution After witnesses are seated, witnesses will be facing a window with blinds drawn. Behind the blinds is the execution chamber.
When the blinds open, the offender will already be secured to the gurney with intravenous lines inserted into his body. The offender is also hooked up to an electrocardiogram (EKG) to monitor his heart rate.
There will be one other person in the chamber with the offender, who will read the orders for execution. After the orders have been read, the offender will be asked if he has any last words.
The offender can speak or decline to speak. The offender has up to two minutes for his last words. After the offender has his last words, the execution will begin.
After the first drug is administered, a doctor will enter the room and check for consciousness. After the offender is rendered unconscious, the second and third drugs will be administered.
When the EKG shows no further sign of life, Director Patton will then enter the room and announce the time of death. Immediately following his announcement, the curtains will return to the original position blocking the view to the execution chamber.
Seems simple enough, very orderly, what could go wrong.
“ I am here to kill my soul.” he could have told the small group of family members and writers ready to take this ride together – if they had asked, if they were ghosts like him – if it were not just in his madness that he was here at all. That’s what madness is perhaps. Weighing the wrongs of the world and judging one’s own inability to do something about it – refusing to accept his inevitable failure and his client’s death.
The blinds snapped open, as reality rushed in, committing the scene to an official looking woman in plain plaid suit – locking eyes with Wayne by accident, then slinking quickly back into the small, sterile, green room where the man lay sprawled – eyes closed – on the metal, cross-shaped gurney.
At first it all seemed normal, normal procedure. The nurse gave the man his first injection which put him to sleep, those in the witness booth breathed out. Now it would just be routine.
Lifting the needle, the doctor pierced the rubber lip of the bottle in his other hand, drawing the clear liquid back into the syringe then yanking it back and ready. The nurse swabbed the black skin as a target for the vein to deliver. Pushing the needle while pulling the plunger to draw blood back; this will indicate a proper connection was made. In and out repeatedly as those in the room anxiously watched each other to confirm that what was happening was right – the doctors hand moving up now as if he needs to make a new try somewhere else – stabbing and pulling but still no connection. Again his hand comes back, his head comes up – looking around the room at eyes without faces.
Wayne felt the witness’s stirring around him. He was doing everything in his power to not look around the room, not daring to make eye contact with anyone – his own Hell approaching.
He turned his focus back to the developments in the execution room. Was this normal?
Locket twitched. The room froze. He heaved slightly against the red leather gurney straps of the execution table – Wayne froze as did everyone in the witness chamber – watching the doctor renew his effort, stabbing again with the small needle – and again – the doctor looking up panicky, again stabbing and plunging to find the vein.
With each thrust the witnesses winced and shuddered, rocking to and fro in their small room – gripping their arm rests in utter terror. Looking but not daring to watch.
But Wayne took it all in, every drop. Opening and closing his inner eye just enough to punish himself, but not enough to pass out, as the doctor continued searching for a place to deliver the fatal dose of poison into Locket’s guilty body.
Wayne slipped further down into the madness in front of him, the spiral downward – the shaking hands of death gave out one last stab.
Blood shot everywhere – the black vein opening up into the room – Locket’s eyes suddenly opened – waking from his execution – he yelled! A woman ran from the execution chamber as the prison official jumped to block the window then facing the families and writers behind the glass.
White-knuckling his thighs, Wayne was dying. Locket’s desperate face rose in contortion towards the window as the blinds spun shut, but not before drops of blood splattered and smacked the double panes isolating the group of opposing families and “investigative journalists” brought together in this bizarrely controlled and sterile environment, for justice. They now sat in shock – each witness alone and quiet. The room silenced. All they could see now were the blinds that had been drawn in panic . On their side they sat and watched a drop of blood slide down the window.
Inside the chamber events spiraled past any known realm of awakened experience . Clayton’s body heaved forward against the restraints as the blood and his screams continued. –
“Call it off, stop it” said the doctor.
“But what do we do with him?” asked another. “ Send him to the hospital?”
And they waited as did those in the viewing room – time went by. What was to be done to deal with the medical condition of a still-living Lockett – who was supposed to die, but didn’t? With no answers, Lockett dangled in his own space then finally – the moment came when Lockett’s life was taken by his own internal horror – his heart went into fibrillation.
The execution had been called off, yet they could do nothing but watch as Lockett’s heart attack continued, looking at each other as his life drained away. No one called an ambulance. Or gave CPR. No one knew what to do – until his heart finally jerked and spasmed to a stop.
They circled around the body in the wake of such a mad experiment gone wrong – Locket was now punctured,bloody and quite dead despite the execution being officially halted – in this reality they stood – looking over the body at each other in now drawn secrecy.
The people in the witness booth evaporated from the two rows of chairs, one by one until no one was there except Wayne , a man who would remain in that space forever perhaps, or not. There was still time for the aberrant lawyer to save his still living client – Glossip.