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

Executed inmate makes presidential endorsement

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/24/art.execution.ap.jpg caption="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. Bella

    Obama was against the death penalty until he is now for the death penalty. Haven't we learned.....the strategy is to flip flop whenever it is convient to do so to serve a political interest.

    July 24, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. bitter_in_pa

    This is only interesting if Obama loses by one vote.

    July 24, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Hillbilly for Barack Obama

    End it ... two wrongs don't make a right.

    July 24, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |

    I find it amazing that 100% of the inmates on Death Row are
    against the death penality. Who woulda thunk it, eh?

    You think the guy who was killed with a claw hammer was
    against the death penality for murderers?

    July 24, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. Julie

    I am breathing today because there was not Mandatory Death Penalty for child rapists. HOWEVER, if there had been, I likely would have been killed during or immediately following when I was raped at age 7 years old. I adamantly oppose Mandatory Death Penalty for childhood rapists. They should receive a life sentence: Never again to walk the streets in freedom, but join the General Population of criminals so restricted. I think that there is a lot of pandering of criminals in prisons. What are they doing with cellphones and cable TV? Why do they get free college educations? I am STILL paying for mine and apparently for theirs as well.

    July 24, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. Erika, KS

    Oh Please!
    Do we care what felons on death row think? We now need to listen to their recommendations on who to vote for? I think not. You have no valid opinion worthy to be heard. You are on death row. You should be spending your time thinking about your special crimes. Don't come crying now. Maybe you should have thought about that crime before you committed it. Moron.

    July 24, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. Dave

    sorry, Leo, you got what was coming and it should continue.

    July 24, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. vw

    Death penalty should be applied in very WIDE circumstances so that American can be much safer.

    July 24, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. Jim

    It is precisely these type of endorsements that will keep Obama out of the White House. The center is a fickle bunch...that is why they are in the center. They vote against rather than for.

    July 24, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. therealist

    This man is obviously crazy.

    July 24, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Worst...Resume...Ever....

    "I was against the Deah Penalty before I was for the Dath Penalty"


    July 24, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. Brooke

    This article is worthless. Why even have an election? Why not coronate Obama as Saviour of the World and be done with it? The death penalty is a necessary evil. How about this? Don't commit a crime that will land you on Death Row and we won't have to use the death penalty.

    July 24, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. Kevin, NC

    A wise man once said these words
    "You conservatives, democrat and republican, Call abortion muder, but dont give a hoot about bombing Iraqi children and I add for that matter they dont care about killing period when its disquised as a quest for democracy or revenge"

    Read The Book of Revelations, for it gives an account of the return of the Mahdi, Messiah, Jesus and according to Revelations his return will be worse than any Terror plot ever concocted. So are you truly ready for the rapture and his return? I think not!! Get you values and morals right then lets talk.....

    July 24, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. bill

    Read your posting you democratic idiots. He's not ACTUALLY!! against the death penalty. You dont, I dont, and I know he doesnt know where he stands on most of the issues. Vote for Obama and this country will be named MexafriGermIserAmerica after we have been invaded by all countries realizing we have a spineless president with little or no courage.

    July 24, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. Charles Douglas Lemay

    "We don't hang men for rustling horses. We hang men to
    keep horses from being rustled."

    Sam Houston

    July 24, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
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