July 24th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
2 years ago

Executed inmate makes presidential endorsement

Death penalty opponents gather outside of Bishop's execution site Wednesday.
Death penalty opponents gather outside of Bishop's execution site Wednesday.

(CNN) - Support for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama extend to death row Wednesday.

According to The Jackson Clarion Ledger, a Mississippi newspaper, death row inmate Dale Leo Bishop's final words before being executed Wednesday night included an appeal to Americans to vote for the Illinois senator.

"For those who oppose the death penalty and want to see it end, our best bet is to vote for Barack Obama because his supporters have been working behind the scenes to end this practice," Bishop said, according to the paper.

Bishop was convicted in 2000 of participating in the murder of a man who was beaten to death with a claw hammer two years earlier. Bishop himself did not deliver the fatal blow and, not including contract killings, is only the eighth person executed who did not directly kill his victim since the death penalty was reinstated 32 years ago, according to the paper.

Obama himself is not explicitly against the death penalty, saying it should be reserved for "only the most heinous crimes." He also said he disagreed with a Supreme Court decision last month that struck down the death penalty for child rape.

"I have said repeatedly that I think that the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstances for the most egregious of crimes," Obama said then. "I think that the rape of a small child, 6 or 8 years old, is a heinous crime and if a state makes a decision that under narrow, limited, well-defined circumstances the death penalty is at least potentially applicable that that does not violate our Constitution."

He's also said he would support the death penalty for Osama bin Laden.

Watch: Obama tells Fareed Zakaria he favors the death penalty for bin Laden


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. Robert

    Obama is right on once again. I fully agree with him.

    July 24, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. Matthew

    Well that should say something about the kind of company Obama keeps. Racist preachers, drug dealers, and now murderers.

    July 24, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. rexx

    A Murder is for Obama. What a shock. lol

    July 24, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. C from Texas

    "Obama himself is not explicitly against the death penalty, saying it should be reserved for "only the most heinous crimes." He also said he disagreed with a Supreme Court decision last month that struck down the death penalty for child rape."

    I thought that's what the death penalty was for, how many shoplifters do you see on death role? Guess we should support a person the rest of his life because he decided to kill a young man or young girl for fun. How can you be against the death penalty and for abortions? Seems like a double standard to me. At least the adult had a choice where as the child doesn't.

    July 24, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. Nikki

    Watch the republican attack machines fire at will over this article. I hope the Jackson Clarion Ledger served it's readers well by reporting that Obama did not oppose the application of the death penalty to egregious child rapists. Bishop obviously wasn't privy to this information.

    July 24, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. fella from Chicago

    A dead Obama supporter is a good Obama supporter.

    July 24, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. atypical

    I do support Obama but disagree with his stance on the death penalty.
    Two wrongs never make a right: A violation is a violation. It doesn't matter on which side of the fence you sit.

    July 24, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. Lara

    First you included a story about one heckler against Obama in your Ticker, now the opinion of ONE inmate.

    As journalists, you should be ashamed of yourselves CNN!

    Try reporting real news and fact checks, and report about McCain's lack of basic understanding as to why and when the Sunni's turned against Al-Quada and largely threw them out of the country. (Hint: it less to do with any "surge" than most of the uninformed "reporters" and talking bobble heads would imagine.)

    July 24, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. Kiah

    I'm sure the RIGHT will try and use this against him as well. And somehow it'll make more news then McCain's outright LIES about the surge.

    July 24, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Martin

    New low CNN. Go talk to Manson and Sirhan last I heard they endorse McCain.

    July 24, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Glad to see that Obama has that critical death row inmate vote locked up. Should we poll child molesters next, because I bet they like him too.

    July 24, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. Ian MacIsaac

    I don't think you should execute someone who was just an accomplice.

    July 24, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. candi California

    Wow . Just the kind of news one would expect from CNN these days.

    July 24, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. Ken Pittsburgh

    Bet you the McCain Camp will use this in some way

    July 24, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. McCain Lies!

    Besides 8 yrs as an Illinois Senator and 3 yrs as US Senator Barack is a Constitutional Law Scholar and Professor. I trust his judgement on this call. Oh heck, from what he's shown me I trust his judgement on just about most things. This man has brilliant judgement. I too believe in the death penalty for child rapists. It is a heinous crime that can destroy a child for life.

    July 24, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Unify On Issues

    Come on – Is this really a ticker item??????

    July 24, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. James Hussein, SC

    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge

    July 24, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. Angie

    The Supreme Court opposed a decision that called for the death penalty for child rape. Obama disagreed with the Supreme Court decision. Which means, Obama is NOT working to do away with the death penalty. How can one translate into the other?

    Obama said that the death penalty should be reserved for the most hideous of crimes. How can anyone translate that into meaning that Obama is against the death penalty?

    Sounds like more behind the scenes of a smearing Obama campaign.

    July 24, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    "Death don't have no mercy in this land"...

    -traditional blues song

    July 24, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. Brad

    I still disagree with death penalties for child rape because it will no doubt lead instead to childredn being raped then murdered, since the penalty is the same for both rape and murder, why leave a witness?

    July 24, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. Mike 4 Obama

    Matthew, I'm sure if another death row murderer said that he deserved to die for his actions and that he supported McCain, you'd be just as quick to agree it makes McCain a worse candidate?

    I hate stories like this, they have zero bearing on the candidate's ability to lead our country. It just gives cynics a reason to throw mud.

    July 24, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. joann

    Lara it's you who should be ashamed of yourself – although this is a stupid article, haven't you seen the coverage Obama has been getting for this ridiculous trip he's on? He's been getting the royal treatment for 9 months now – the press pushed out Hillary and now Mccain; you're all biased.

    July 24, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  23. Mike

    What a waste of a man's last words to waste them on someone like Obama. Obama hasnt done anything he has promised yet. He voted six times for republican measures. Dismissed major black events for his political campaign. Disowned his pastor he said he could not do before.

    Lot of people heaping their hopes on Obama. It is going to be a sad day when he crushes them all as president. Then it will be too late for everyone to realize they should have stuck with the tried and true Hillary.

    July 24, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. M.S. Indiana

    Thought Dead Row policies was something you found in China, Cuba, Iran and Iraq... and we are on their level ??

    July 24, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. Kathryn Irby - Metairie, LA

    I agree with him! Vote for Obama!!!

    July 24, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
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