Who Speaks For Me?
by Bob Ferguson
It was a simple contraption. Bare wires jammed into the receptacle end of an orange extension cord could be attached to a cyclone fence, then all he had to do was plug it in, grab on and Zaaap! He’d be gone instantly. It was a “do it yourself” electric chair.
For twenty years he had screamed his innocence at them. His frustrated yelling and odd, ha, ha, haaaaaaa, laughing at their bumbling errors made them treat him like a deranged pervert. As a Husky alum, he found the minimally educated guards to be cruel and inept. But, the worst part was living as a convicted child molester among vicious psychopaths who assaulted him daily.
Life had ended for James Albright in a courtroom filled with hubris, confessions coerced from his two young daughters, and bizarre accusations from his mentally ill wife. He did not blame them. She was too ill and they were too young. It was the new DA who promised to get “tough on crime.” Overnight, James went from being the respected head of his family to a pariah on society.
The metal fence was a perfect conductor of electricity. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” He attached the wires and plugged in the cord. Filled with fear, joy, and relief, he tightly squinted his eyes, reached out, and grabbed the next life.
Daily Journal of James Albright
7/5/13 Smuggled the cord from the shop today. It will work.
7/6/13 Assaulted twice today. Living is worse than dying.
7/7/13 For the last time I have cried out about my innocence.
7/8/13 The one sin God can’t forgive is suicide. He will understand. It is they who take my life.
7/9/13 TODAY IS THE DAY. HELLO LORD!
Columbian Newspaper Article July 11, 2013
“Just days before his exoneration became eminent, James Albright committed suicide by electrocution on a jail fence. Twenty years ago he was convicted and sent to prison for child sex abuse. His two children have recanted their statements and have accused the prosecutor, Art Buris and detective Debbie Stevens of coercing confessions from them when they were only 5 and 6 years old. It is also alleged that Buris and Stevens withheld evidence from the defense attorney to advance their own careers. Sources say that Clark County was preparing to pay $5 million dollars to Albright who said from his jail cell ‘What good is money? That prosecutor and detective have already taken my life.’ Buris and Stevens are now retired and immune from any prosecution or penalties. They declined to be interviewed for this article.”
At the end of the day, the sun sets on the Bastards and Saints alike. Even God has difficulty discerning between them.
Authors Note: This is a work of fiction. Any similarity between a current Clark County, case and those of the nearly 2,000 other cases of exoneration across the nation is purely intentional.
I have obtained the security camera video from Clark County Jail under the Freedom of Information Act. I hope you find it disturbing.
© 2014 Bob Ferguson