A Texas death row inmate is getting attention for a unique, and somewhat insensitive last request. Patrick Knight, 39, has been requesting and collecting jokes mailed to him and e-mailing them to his friend. His collection spans 250 jokes and will pick the funniest one for his final statement before he is scheduled to die on June 26 for shooting his neighbors, Walter and Mary Werner, to death in Amarillo, Texas about 16 years ago. What’s insensitive is not the jokes themselves, since he doesn’t plan on using any material with a lot of profanity or one that’s too offensive. Instead, it is the fact that he is not taking his crime seriously because of his joking nature that he is exhibiting toward his punishment. The son of his victims has moved out of Texas and won’t speak about the case anymore.

On the contrary, Knight doesn’t consider his stunt insensitive on behalf of the victims but as a way to keep a positive attitude despite his fate. He believes that his execution will free him from the life behind bars he has endured for 16 years. He will be the last of five condemned inmates set to die over three weeks in the month of June in Texas. Fourteen executions have already happened in Texas this year. If this keeps up, there the state may hit or even pass up the record high of 40 executions in 2000. At least 10 more inmates have executions set for the second half of the year. However, I don’t think any will be as charismatic as Knight’s, who has everyone waiting to see what his last laugh will be.

For a related article visit http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/06/04/execution.jokes.ap/index.html and http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Jun03/0,4670,TexasExecutions,00.html.

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