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. David from Ohio

    If we Obama supporters are asking whether McCain will use something Obama says, it's because of our past experience with the GOP twisting every little thing Democratic candidates for President say. Surely people can remember back to the 1988 presidential campaign and Willie Horton. John Kerry was attacked for trying to explain his position on a piece of legislation about which he was asked by a Republican plant. Al Gore was painted as claiming to invent the internet when in fact, he never said that and was in fact, very active in the Senate in pushing electronic communications. McCain's campaign is desperate because they know what's coming and will seize on anything Obama says to portray him as weak on national security. It's only a matter of time before the race card is played. I'm glad that intelligent Republicans who are sick of the neocons who have seized their party support Obama, but don't expect us to forgot the dirty tricks the GOP has played in the past.

    July 24, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. SUE

    One thing about OBAMA,,Hes a good speaker,hes handsome,,but what does he have aganst the Clintons? Why will he not choose someone who can help him win?the mess Mr Bush has got our country in ,Mr OBAMA should be way out in front in ever state..Something to thank about,,and I have,,just can,t figure it out..Surely,,no it can,t be that OBAMA thank he knows enough with out any ones help like BILL CLiNTON..Why would he not wan,t to work with Bill?One of the best leaders we have ever had..Change where will that take us too?Really something to thank about....

    July 24, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    The extreme ignorance of some people is showing up again on the ticker (matt, jerk from chicago, etc.).

    You guys aren't doing the smarter people on your side of the political fence any favors. I'll admit that a percentage of Obama supporters are idiots, too, but the outright idiotic vileness from anti-Obama people can be unbelievable. I suppose these are average McCain supporters?

    July 24, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. bagwell houston

    The most important part of this article is him letting us in on the behind the scenes obamaphiles working against the death penalty.

    It is more likely that in the future his statement about the child rape ruling will be cast aside as "heated rhetoric" when it is no longer useful.

    I really do look forward to the time when he can come out in the open as the marxist that Stanley raised him to be...

    July 24, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Sandi

    The man was in political office exactly 143 days PRIOR to running. He supports Africa FIRST (it's in his church rules), he's friends with many of America's strongest opponenst. His wife's dissertation at Princeton is as ractist as I've ever seen. Do you people READ anything? And you call Republicans dumb. Funny.

    July 24, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Brian

    No surprise here. Murderers support Obama.

    July 24, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. William Courtland, Southern Ontario

    The death penalty does not teach lessons, does not attempt to reform, it is a scare tactic for the populous. An internationally operated mid-atlantic prison would suit much better for this, and with permission the death penalty is the release for those aware of their own guilt who do not wish to end their life wasting in some dank, ocean separated, and forgotten cell. Antartica kills without mercy, it kills without vengence, and it kills without conscience and as the people have self elected themselves for the death penalty by nature it is more humane yet is also an escape.

    The true punishment for committing capitol offenses is exile, in modern times this is exile from civilization.

    Child rape?

    What is invetro fertilization when considering the idea it provides as the truth for those conscienceless females in society who use such methods to steal children from those famous, or who use such plots to torment or unjustly punish unfaithful fathers by having someone impartial birth a child of their loins with the intent of acting out their want for petty vengence against that targeted male, so castrating the son or brutalizing the daughter to prostitution... What is a psyche when it is the means as a weapon of revenge?

    July 24, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Typical White Person

    Expand the death penalty, limit appeals, and retire the national debt on the savings...

    Remember when your kids could go the park without worrying about a child molester abducting, raping and killing them? That was back before the death penalty was outlawed in so many states – many of which have reinstated it.

    July 24, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. DKR

    Do you know how many crazys are for McSame?

    Millions, they're all crazy!

    July 24, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. Brian

    And why do comments like CNN SUCKSSSSSSSSSSSS get posted while mine don't? Who are the morons moderating comments?

    July 24, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. bill

    I am so tired of reading this liberal horse crap CNN writes day in and day out. If you scroll down the headlines, 90% is either Obama or black. The other 10% is Mccain wont or cant. This sensentional news reporting is why we are so misinformed 99% of the time. I am an educated white man with some common sense and the trash CNN reports is both demeaning to me and I would hope all of Americans. Also there goes Obama again flip-flopping like a fish out of water. So if a man/woman kills a member of my family is that not a heinous crime. Barrack go back to the senate where you can flip-flop as much as you want and leave the real decisions to someone that doesnt need to please everyone all of the time. McCain 08

    July 24, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. Kim, Dallas, TX

    CNN, you have sunk to a new low. Are you trying to drive people away? Is this how you distract people from the unbelievable speech just given in Berlin by Obama. Why can't we work together instead of trying to divide people. This article was clearly aimed at division.

    July 24, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Richard, FL

    It's amazing to see so many McCain supporters who think America should vote for their man because of what a convicted killer said.

    It's just an excuse to avoid talking about McCain claiming the Anbar Awakening was before the surge and how the surge started before it was announced. McCain even bragged the surge had protected the sheik that talked to "McFarlane" when actually he was KILLED at the height of the surge.

    McCain supporters would rather talk about another killer.

    July 24, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. bagwell houston

    Reading some of these posts and other message boards makes me wonder if Soros outsourced his blog attack machine to india...

    July 24, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Marcus, Great Lakes IL

    HEADLINE Mike, Syracuse, NY July 24th, 2008 12:47 pm ET

    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.

    _______________________________________________

    It is apparent from your post that the only thing you read is the HEADLINES,

    If you bothered to READ the rest of the piece, you would have read:

    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."

    Now, you may ask yourself why I chose to type in all capital letters. The answer is simple, maybe you wouldn't look like an idiot if you had some real substance to your post.

    July 24, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. NoBamaEVER

    What? A death row inmate for Obama? Well, that's it. I am switching to the Obama train.

    NOT!

    July 24, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Texas Democrat for Life

    Why is this news???

    July 24, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. Jim P

    And yet another high impact endorsement – a lunatic who used a hammer claw to kill his victim.

    July 24, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. John

    Wow, when convicts start supporting you, you know anyone who has half a brain had better run from this phony

    He is a scripted, skinny racist who if anyone had read his books would know his disdain for white people

    And lets not forget his stance on the surge

    "I was against the surge before I was before the surge"

    Sound familiar??

    July 24, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. sick of it in pa

    ok everyone get a grip–obama is not totally against the death penalty and has said so before –several times that for the most vicious of crimes he is supportive–he even has said that for the predators of our children–and for those of you that agree–rather than wagging your tongue why dont you make your own states take a stand!!!!!!! i am a dem and i feel that with DNA or video that this is exactly what some of these animals deserve!!! check again people-he is not completely against the death penalty!!!!! but then we have states that just want to let them walk amongst us!!!! so instead of talktalktalk why dont u use your energy to email your states!!!!

    July 24, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. Walt, Belton,TX

    About as good a recommendation as I'd expect.

    July 24, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. JIM...TX

    Obama and murderers???? Get a clue folks. Bush and this administration ARE murderers in every sense of the word!!

    July 24, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. Mariann Pepitone

    I favor the death penalty for all killers and that should be a mandatory law in every state. Those that appose it would no doubt would change their mind if a member of their family was murdered. And if Obama opposes the death penalty and wants it only for Bin Laden he is wrong. He has two daughters and I am certain he would change his mind immediately if one of them were murdered. Why should the killer stay alive when the victim will never see daylight again.

    July 24, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. maurice

    Brothers unite vote Obama!

    July 24, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. JK Ashburn, VA

    With the corrupt election officials, voter registration lists that include dead people, use of unions to handle absentee ballots, and the overall looseness of how voters are identified in many cities in this country, don't be surprised if Dale Lee Bishop and some of his deceased peers still vote for Obama.

    July 24, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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