KTRH has a poll on their website: “Should the state of Texas ban death row inmates from soliciting jokes to be told in their final statements.”

Get me 911, there is an inmate about to tell a joke. Call the joke police.

The Texas Legislature is not concerned that people such as Ruben Cantu, Cameron Willingham and Carlos De Luna were executed and may have been innocent, but they might like this issue. Stay tuned in 2009 for the joke banning bill. They didn’t pass the Innocence Commission bill, but a joke banning bill might be popular. So far, it is winning about 60-40 percent in the poll.

As we reported last week in Dead Man Laughing, one of the five inmates scheduled for execution this month in Texas is trying to bring attention to his pending execution by holding a joke contest in which he would read his favorite joke during his last statement. His MySpace page is here and the address to send jokes is:

Patrick Knight #999072
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 S.
Livingston, Texas 77351

Now, the Houston Chronicle has granted his wish by giving him major news attention in this article:

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.”

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