Death and guesses

Does death row offer door prizes?

No one has ever accused us of having good taste. Literally. No one. Not ever. Still, even we know some things don't mix. Tan shoes and navy blue slacks. White wine and five-alarm chili. Executions and fun guess-the-celebrity games.

That last one comes from the Texas Moratorium Network, a statewide anti-death penalty group that says "an important new voice is about to be raised in support of a moratorium in Texas." Whose voice? That's a secret until around the end of the month, but the network is soliciting guesses on its blog about who the new supporter will be. "After the news breaks, we will post the names on our blog of the people who correctly predicted the name of the new voice. Maybe we will also post the incorrect guesses just for fun," the group writes in its newsletter.

Fun and Texas' Death Row. Yee-haw.

It's sort of like when entertainment magazines run high-school yearbook photos of movie stars and ask readers to guess the celebs, only in this case with death, violence and a lethal cocktail of drugs thrown in. Come to think of it, that does sound a lot like Hollywood too.

"We can't have a little fun?" TMN President Scott Cobb asked when Buzz gave him a ring in Austin to see if we could get a hint and the big new name. "I don't think it detracts from anything." Hopefully, Cobb says, building a little suspense will drive a few people to the group's Web site and stir up some of the flagging interest in stopping executions in a state that has put to death 369 people since 1982 and is on track to kill four more just this month. This is despite recent news reports that at least one and maybe three innocent persons were part of that tally, and despite a growing chorus among editorialists for a moratorium at least until the Texas death machine is given a thorough review.

"It's difficult to keep people's attention," Cobb says. The group's last protest drew 11 people, but the big name the network is about to enlist in its effort could win plenty of interest statewide. We can't tell you who it is. You'll just have to guess. Who knows? Guess right and maybe the TMN will up the ante with nifty door prizes. How about a nice Fruit of the Loom that reads, "John Doe was executed and all I got was this stupid T-shirt?"

 
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