Next Texan to be Executed Wants to Crack Joke

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LIVINGSTON, Texas -- Texas death-row inmate Patrick Knight hopes to die laughing.

The 39-year-old convicted killer is scheduled to die by lethal injection in Huntsville Tuesday night for the abduction and fatal shootings of his Amarillo neighbors.

But he's diverted some attention from the 1991 slayings of Walter and Mary Ann Werner crime by an appeal for jokes to tell in his final statement.

Knight has been considering dozens of submissions received in recent weeks since making his appeal. He says he's accepted that death is his punishment and is unafraid of it. He says he decided to solicit jokes to help ease the stress of his death on his death-row buddies.

Randall County District Attorney James Farren scorns the effort. He calls Knight "similar to most of the hoodlums that are on death row -- who have no regard for your rights or property, nor mine, and no regard for human life."

Knight's appeals have been exhausted and his lawyer had no plans to raise any last-minute issues. His execution would be the 18th this year in Texas and the fourth this month.

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