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Kinky Friedman: Max Soffar, A Jew on Death Row

Update: Kinky Friedman will announce his candidacy for Governor of Texas tomorrow on MSNBC's 'Imus Show', from 7 to 8 am CST.

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Highly recommended: Kinky Friedman's article about Max Soffar locked up in Texas for 23 years, and granted a new trial last year. It was written a year ago for Texas Monthly, but is available free at the link above (as well as on Kinky's website.) It begins like a Friedman novel, but this is no fictional story.

I've seen Cool Hand Luke and The Green Mile, but I'm not a prison reform activist. I'd never interviewed anyone on death row until the middle of January, when I picked up a telephone and looked through the clear plastic divider at the haunting reflection of my own humanity in the eyes of Max Soffar.

Max doesn't have a lot of time and neither do I, so I'll try to keep it brief and to the point.

Among the brief points:

For the past 23 years, since confessing to that triple homicide, Max has been at his final station on the way: the Polunsky Unit, in Livingston, Texas. But he long ago recanted the confession, and many people, including a number of Houston-area law enforcement officers, think he didn't commit the crime. They say he told the cops what they wanted to hear after three days of interrogation without a lawyer present. At the very least, they say, Max's case is an example of everything that's wrong with the system.

We wrote about Kinky's article last March but are glad to see it republished. For more on Soffar's case, check his website. His e-mail address is maxsoffar-at-freenet.de

[hat tip to Rev. Mr. George W. Brooks, J.D., Director of Advocacy, Kolbe House, Chicago)

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  • Is it true Kinky Friedman is announcing for governor of Texas tomorrow?

    This guy may not have done the crime? but to be in some murderous tx-ass prison system he should be released at once because the system had no real evidence in this case, like so many others. Long live the bill of right. See people in a real nation state under real laws you need something called "evidence to put people in prison and on death row. "we will fight for freedom all over the world, and the rule of law", but no here? read what little turtle said about law. and ask what is this really all about?

    Texas used to be an independent country. Explain to me again why we changed that.

    ytterby: So we could benefit from the wisdom of Molly Ivans, Jim Hightower, and my Lone Star native father, Professor Avenger, to name but three who come to mind.

    Fred... I think I'm starting to like you.

    Re: Kinky Friedman: Max Soffar, A Jew on Death Ro (none / 0) (#6)
    by scarshapedstar on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 02:41:34 PM EST
    Okay, seriously: the guy's name is Kinky?

    I haven't Googled to find out where Kinky's coming from these days...but aside from thinking he was a funny guy 30 years ago, I think his politics are pretty retrograde. Has he said anything about the WoD?