June 4, 2007
Condemned inmate making the death penalty a laughing matter
Though this AP story about a Texas defendant scheduled to be executed later this month might seem like a joking matter, thoughtful readers can find some deep issues within. Here are highlights:
A condemned inmate wants to leave them laughing. Patrick Knight is collecting jokes and will pick the funniest one for his last statement before he is set to die June 26 for shooting his neighbors, Walter and Mary Werner, to death almost 16 years ago outside Amarillo.
Randall County Sheriff Joel Richardson thinks the whole idea is insensitive. "This tells you a little bit about the guy's character, anyway," said Richardson, who was chief deputy at the time of the Werners' killings and plans to witness Knight's execution....
Knight acknowledges there's nothing funny about his execution. "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," Knight said. He's had about 250 wisecracks mailed to him on death row or e-mailed to a friend who has a Web site for him. "Lawyer jokes are real popular," he said....
Knight said he got the idea for a joke as his last statement after a friend, Vincent Gutierrez, was executed earlier this year and laughed from the death chamber gurney: "Where's a stunt double when you need one?"
"I know I'm not innocent," said Knight, who believes his appeals have been exhausted. "They think they're killing me. They think they're punishing me. They've already punished me. I've already had 16 years of punishment. They're releasing me. They're letting me go. That's helping me out. That's the way I look at it."
June 4, 2007 at 02:08 PM | Permalink
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The sooner this clown is put down, the better.
Posted by: federalist | Jun 4, 2007 2:16:53 PM
federalist, does it bother you at all that you're cheering on the killing of another human being? I'm not going to defend what he did. My heart goes out to the family of his victims. But it seems -- and I'm not sure how else to put this -- inhumane and rather twisted to cheer on the death of somebody else. Perhaps my moral compass is just different than yours and the thought of somebody being killed by another doesn't strike you as tragic, but I find your general attitude about this rather disturbing.
Posted by: Elson | Jun 4, 2007 8:54:54 PM
I don't know that I'd call it cheering. Justice needs to be done here, and the sooner it is done, the better. The bottom line is that the world will be a better place as a result of this miscreant leaving it.
I'd say that your squeamishness compass is different from mine. I look at executions as something that should be solemn (I am not a "Burn Bundy Burn" kind of guy), but also that it is society's justified response to an awful transgression. When justice is served, there is a satisfaction that I feel. I find it tragic that occasions arise for which the death penalty is imposed. I don't find the execution of killers tragic. I don't have any more sypmathy for a killer than I would someone coming into my home, where my children sleep. And, to be blunt, if I ever had to defend them with deadly force, I would not hesitate. Nor would I care, in the slightest, about the person coming in the house. And I wouldn't feel bad about it either.
I do think that you elevate squeamishness to morality. I am not squeamish about executions. Not in the slightest.
Posted by: federalist | Jun 4, 2007 9:55:28 PM
The world will be no different a place when he's dead except the contents of some 6 x 9 cell will change.
Posted by: Elson | Jun 5, 2007 3:32:56 AM
According to the warden of Angola (Louisiana's prison), the final words of the last person to be executed were: "Tell my lawyers they're fired."
Posted by: mbc | Jun 5, 2007 9:00:48 AM
Here is a link to the contest... http://collegecandy.com/reality/3611 wtf is wrong with this guy>??!??!
Posted by: Stac | Jun 19, 2007 2:00:00 PM