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. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    The death penalty is wrong...period.
    Because of imperfections in investigative and judiciial systems–we should never execute an inmate. Even if just one inmate who was innocent is executed wrongly–is just enough cause to eliminate it.

    This single issue puts us at odds with most of the world in finding and convicting criminals–as well as demostrating the barbarism of an otherwise advanced society.

    There should be no death penalty administered by the state.

    If individuals desire to exercise the option–they may do so and be subject of the laws of the land.

    But the state and federal government should not be executing criminals no matter how heinous their crimes.

    Too bad for this guy–Obama seems to be in favor of death of child molesters. But you other folks are in deep kimchee.

    July 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |

    To it don't make any sense to execute an accomplice it think life in jail is the best judgement.

    July 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. Done with Dems

    CNN......... see if you can poll Jerry Springers audience. You guys are really creative today.

    McCain/Ralph Reed 08

    July 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. fairandstraight

    Matthew, I know that since you lives in Heaven already, you wouldn't know any of those type people. Sen. Obama has no control over who supports him or not.

    He is indeed the very best candidate for president.

    July 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. Robert

    Well, no suprise here. These are the types of people that back Obama. If you are black, on death row, or a racist preacher, then you support Obama. If you are realistic and live in the real world, instead of riding around on a unicorn dreaming about change, you are for McCain. I just hope that there are enough realist in the world to keep Obama the fairy out of the oval office.

    July 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    I am PROLIFE in every sense of the word; against abortion, against the death penalty (Jesus abolished 'an eye for an eye') and for the protection and good stewardship of our Earth.

    Of course, people like some of the above will use this against Sen. Obama, its never easy doing the right thing!

    As a Christian, I am always deeply saddened by the words used by other Christians to attack and demean someone whom they don't agree with.

    Why can't those disagreeing make their point without hatred, without meanness? Have you not read the Gospel of Matthew? Jesus is clear about loving your neighbor even if you disagree.

    I suspect that the "right" can't come up with some hideous against Sen. Obama, so they attack and attack and demean, in hopes that some people will listen.

    Everyone has a right to endorse a candidate, BUT what's the point of making this endorsement news, CNN? Does CNN have to play up to the "right" by making this news?

    I am SURE there are SOME WHITE-NEO-NAZI-PRISONERS THAT HAVE ENDORSED OR SUPPORT MCCAIN! Why is this not making news????????????????????????????????????????????????

    July 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. JoelWhy

    Hey, death-row inmates; if you really want Obama for President, would you mind publicly endorsing McCain?

    July 24, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Dennis

    You clowns are as bad as Couric, Stephanopoulos and Gibson. Anyone do a flag pin check on prisoners today? Does this convict love his country as much as Obama does?

    Who wrote this drivel? Glen Beck?

    July 24, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. Billy J -Austin-Tx

    Man... what a bogus story. Obama was way down the list of potential candidates for the dems to me and my wife, but this is sooooo lame. I would feel the same way if they had a story about some terrorist or cheating military contractor endorsing McCain. Pure tabloid. And feeds the dummies (on both sides) like we have here saying stuff like 'look at the company he keeps' or 'figures a murderer would be for him'.

    Bogus story... catering to the haters and dim bulbs. Thanks for slowing down at the car wreck CNN.

    July 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. JB

    Sweet Petunia! He IS the Messiah! Even death row inmates swoon at his very name. Let us now take a moment and bow towards Germany and pay homage to the Precious.

    July 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. laughing at stupidity

    oh Matthew, that may be your conclusion as to the company he keeps, but based on your way of drawing lines between candidates and the company they keep, you obviously prove that the company McCain keeps is complete morons... Seriously. Get over yourself.

    July 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. Peter (CA)

    Here comes the Willie Horton stories.
    No one will look at what this story is really about.

    Mike, Syracuse-you've had some pretty questionable comments on here but the one about the child molesters shows how clueless you actually are. But I guess anyone with a computer can spill whatever crud they want.

    July 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. Al, NY NY

    Willie Horton will live again once the GOP smear machine gets a hold of this one. I wonder who supports JM? Execs at Halliburton?

    July 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. TOM

    the death penalty is murded premeditated no less

    July 24, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. Texun

    Man bitten by dog endorses Obama.

    July 24, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Greg. PA

    Why is the media always looking for ways to hype up Obama? This is ridiculous biased reporting.

    July 24, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. Scott, Cincinnati

    Well said Dale Leo Bishop, RIP. I can't wait to vote for Obama!

    July 24, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. J

    Wow, republicans are so dumb lol. It's actually quite shocking.

    July 24, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. East Coast Bum

    CNN, you guys truly suck. I could do a bettert job at this. Who cares what a guy with both feet in the grave says. Even if it is for Obama. Whatever, CNN you guy are awful and I hate you station and website.

    July 24, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. Justin (ny)

    This story has exactly what to do with which candidate is best suited to lead our country?

    July 24, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. Chris

    Come on, CNN, I am sure you can find better news than this.

    July 24, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. Real Issues

    This must be CNN's day to give loose cannons their 15 minutes. Is there no other news happening today?

    July 24, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. Obama/Hillary 08

    We are not a chearleader of The death penality but it is here to stay. What do you criminals out there think that you can destroy other people's life and asking us to end the death penality. Our prison is getting overcrowded and some type of penality is suppose to be in place for criminals who kill a human being.

    July 24, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. Phil-Little Rock

    Too bad that guy couldn't campaign for Obama from prison.

    July 24, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. Tuba the Tubby

    In other news, Betty Smith from a small town in Indiana received a speeding ticket earlier today where she also publicly endorsed Obama.

    July 24, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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