July 24th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
1 year 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. Boston Bill

    Shut up & take your medicine!

    July 24, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. JJ

    Now there's an endorsement...

    July 24, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. Kevin

    Awwwww. Ain't that sweet. Brought a tear to my eye. Of course, it was a tear from laughing so much. NObama 08!

    July 24, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. no McCain!

    That's disturbing...

    But it won't change my vote.

    Obama '08

    July 24, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. doris

    It galls me how people like Robert say that if you're black, on death row or a raciast preacher, you're for Obama. EXCUSE ME!!! BLACK FOLKS HAVE BEEN VOTING FOR WHITE CANDIDATES ALL OUR LIVES - AND NO ONE WAS CRITICIZING US THEN! Now when we get a viable black man to run for President, we are only voting for him because he is black. Since black people only make up about 15% of the nation's population, where did the other 85% of votes come from? And if black people's vote is so influential, why didn't Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Shirley Chisholm or Keys do as well as Barack Obama? And if you want to talk about him hanging around racist preachers or people on death row, they said the same thing about Jesus Christ. What was it–he eats with sinners and hang around with prostitutes and low lives. Why don't you engage your brain, Robert, before you open your big mouth about things you have no idea about!

    July 24, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. ErikS.

    CNN, you have no shame.

    July 24, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. Rocky Michigan

    I would hope an endorsement from this man would do more harm than good! The Moderates will decide who becomes President as they alway do. Only the wild eyed liberals will consider this endorsement a good thing and they are already behind BHO 100%.

    July 24, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Dana.

    You are so behind the times.
    The world that you perceive hasn't existed in at least two decades!!!

    There is no way Obama has worked twice as hard as any candidate!! He's been in a continuing election since he entered public office for God's sake. And his ability is what got him to this point–not his race.

    I am so sick of ridiculous accusations like this!!
    Dana–do you know how many non-college educated white Americans work for college educated black Americans as their boss?

    The only divergence in America at this time–is related to education–and of course the age old family/financial connections.

    If you can get a college degree–it doesn't matter if your skin is polka-dot you can find meaningful and decent pay work.

    Wake up. Pull your head up out of the sand and join the current century of American history.

    July 24, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Nikki

    I feel sorry for anti-Obamacons that mock God by jocularly ranting that Obama is the "Messiah". I have yet to hear any of Obama's supporters extol him as Messiah. Be careful with your Rush Limbaugh antics, because Rush is leading you on a path of unrighteousness for his name sake.

    July 24, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. FactCheck

    > I thought that's what the death penalty was for, how many shoplifters do > you see on death role?

    Did you read the article bunky? The convict in question did not directly kill the victim and was only the 8th person (excluding contract killers) who was executed despite not having directly killed the victim. Try reading the article before spouting off.

    July 24, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Mike

    YOU COMMIT THE CRIME. YOU PAY THE PRICE. WHAT ABOUT THE VICTIM?

    July 24, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. Randy

    Well Lara you genius of everything....why don't you tell us?

    July 24, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Gary

    Why should this murderer care who we vote for.....he wasn't going to be around long enough to see the election anyway. Of course as a convicted felon–he couldn't have voted anyway.

    Im glad this guy got what he deserved–and McCain '08. John McCain winning would really make that guy mad–although he's dead, so he doesnt care

    July 24, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  14. Randy

    Hey Mccaine Lies....

    Check your fact....Barack is not and was never a law professor....that was just one of the lies he told once. Check with the University

    July 24, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Michigan Born & Educated

    None of the Obama supporters were flapping their jaws against that little blond girl in the Hillary commercial - after it aired - when she said she endorsed Obama.

    July 24, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. kelly WI

    More lies...Obama said it was his committee when speaking of the Banking committee...He isn't even on that committee.
    Now he's playing his "color" card in Germany.
    Dem congress is trying to get thru a 10 cent gal. more gas tax. Just what we need.
    No self-respecting person would ever vote for Obama.
    Only those who want everything and everyone taxed higher one way or the other and want more Bigger Gov. that can't think further than a campaign speech or sound bite will vote for a staged empty suit.

    July 24, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. Hephaestus

    Of course Bishop was against the death penalty when he was minutes away from it being imposed upon him. He fully supported the death penalty when his victim was being beaten to death with a claw hammer. Just like Obama, he flip-flopped on the issue when it suited him. Net result: one less Obama supporter.

    July 24, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. former GOP

    Matthew
    Your statement was the most asinine statement yet comeing from a sad McCain supporter in fact it was just plain stupid and smells like desperation at its best. Obama does not know that man from a hole in the ground so how is he keeping his company. I guess everyone that knows you is crazy because you are in there company and something is wrong with you judging by your comement…. Get a life and some real fact about who you next president.

    July 24, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. SUE, Michigan

    Hello, any journalists remaining at CNN–there are IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS going on today!!! And not in committee...WHY, when it was about sex and a stupid intern. was this news, and NOW, the man who pillages the Constitution gets no news coverage????

    July 24, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. Crush Rush

    And while your at it Obama,please dont pardon criminals in government who commit treason and high crimes, etc.The law is the law and you must not forget that, if you do get elected.Just because Pelosi and Reed dont have the fortitude to do the job doesnt mean you shouldnt.

    July 24, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. Texas Trail Dog!

    AGAIN OBAMA LIES – HE SIGNED A PETITION THAT HE WOULD END THE DEATH PENALTY IF AND WHEN HE GAINED OFFICE OF PRESIDENT. HIS CLAIM AND WISH IS TO TAKE AWAY STATE RIGHTS IN THE MATTER OF THE DEATH PENALTY. HE HAS JUST RECENTLY STATED THAT ONLY HEINOUS CRIMES LIKE 911 SHOULD BE CONSIDERED FOR THE DEATH PENALTY. THAT LEAVES CHILD RAPE, RAPE OF ANY KIND RESULTING IN DEATH FROM A CHILD TO AN 80-YEAR OLD GRAND MOTHER IS NOT CONSIDERED A HEINOUS CRIME. THE SHOOTING DEATH OF A POLICEMAN OR A 7-11 WORKER OR ANY OTHER PREMEDITATED DEATH SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A HEINOUS CRIME. THIS MAN IS NOT FIT TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.

    July 24, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. Ronald L. Poehlman

    What is the public supposed to do? Feed, educate, provide shelter, and free medical for people that take a life. If it is an accident, maybe, but for anyone that takes another humans life, the death penalty is an nescessary evil. It is bad enough people have to lose a loved one in that manner( MURDER), but to see the person responsible be cared for for the rest of their life is absurd. Especially when there are law abiding people that work and work and do not have those benefits.

    July 24, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. Little Lulu

    One question – How many of you who oppose the death penalty have EVER had to bury a loved one who was raped, beaten to death (with a claw hammer, no less), burned, or brutally killed by some piece of human flesh who decided that they just wanted to "kill"? Just what I thought – when it happens to a family member or a close friend you'll see differently – that is if you actually have a brain up there. Even in Biblical times they used the death penalty – remember Jesus was beaten, stabbed with a sword and hung on a cross for the most horriffic death ever recorded???? And the two THIEVES, notice they were not murderers, they were THIEVES – were hung to die????

    Here's an idea – take your Barack Hussein Obama and go somewhere and start your own country. See how fast it falls. Hopefully some of you will snap out of the deep sleep that CNN has hypnotized you into and see that Obama is not the messiah – he's TROUBLE. Now CNN – don't post this as usual since it is anti-OBAMA. CNN is as pathetic as Obama and the Obamanots.

    July 24, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. Jim

    Who Created the Death Penalty?- God Did look it up, Don't belive me?
    show me someone thats still alive that is over 130 years old. God instituted the death penalty for breaking His Laws & everyone dies because we all are guilty- it is just a question of WHEN.

    July 24, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. maria

    A heinous crime against a child should not be 6-8, it should refer to any child's age. We have so many of these perverts in our country who get away with their heinous crimes they have put upon our children, they get jailed and we as tax payers pay forthem to get fed and stay alive, I say they should all be executed for their sick actions on children.

    July 24, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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