Condemned prisoner Patrick Knight wants to leave them laughing.
Knight acknowledges there’s nothing funny about his likely execution later this month for the fatal shooting of his neighbors, Walter and Mary Werner, almost 16 years ago outside Amarillo. But to help him come up with his final statement, Knight is accepting jokes mailed to him on Texas’ death row or e-mailed to a friend who has a Web site for him. The friend then mails him the jokes.
Knight said the joke he finds the funniest will be his final statement the evening of June 26.
“I’m not trying to disrespect the Werners or anything like that,” he told The Associated Press from death row. “I’m not trying to say I don’t care what’s going on. I’m about to die. I’m not going to sit here and whine and cry and moan and everything like that when I’m facing the punishment I’ve been given.
“I’m not asking for money. I’m not asking for pen pals or anything like that. All I’m asking for is jokes.”
He said he’s already received about 250 wisecracks.
“Lawyer jokes are real popular,” he said. “Some of them are a little on the edge. I’m not going to use any profanity if I can find the one I want, or any vulgar content. It wouldn’t be bad if it was a little bit on the edge. That would be cool.”
Randall County Sheriff Joel Richardson thinks the whole idea is anything but cool. As chief deputy at the time of the Werners’ killings, Richardson investigated the case and intends to witness Knight’s execution. He said the Werners’ family has already been through enough, and that Knight’s attempt to make a joke at the execution is sick.
Insite Question: Would you allow him to tell a joke before his execution?