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. Scott

    Obama is a cult of personality. The comments below will prove that. He's an empty suit telling you exactly what you think you want to hear. He will sell-out this country to the special interests like AIPAC that control him. WAKE UP AMERICA. Obama is a Socialist, and Socailism is not what America is all about.

    July 24, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Az_Sr_Strength

    Is this really news worthy ? Or is it fodder for all the bigots that live out in the dreamland of a white world that hates any & all others that don't think,look,vote (sic,sic,sic) like them.

    July 24, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Ms. D

    For the blogger whose says this shows what kind of company Obama keep that inlcudes murder's is so out of touch. Obama can't help it if all kinds of people like him!! It do'nt mean he hangs out with them or they are real close friends or friends for that matter. People need to stop hating. Because other countries hate our guts because of Bushwack and now Mcsame is really a problem. Obama can't help it because other countries like him and agree with him on positions!! Stop the hate!!

    July 24, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. M.S. Indiana

    Robert, McCain have more racist preacher on his side, but thats ok, because they are at least only against women, gay, lesbians, Jewish and Muslims...

    July 24, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  5. danno

    About the same impact as an endorsement from Sharpton et al. I'm sure every inmate on death row has a political view. Too bad they forfeited the right to vote when they committed the crime.
    How 'bout getting an endorsement that really counts......Barbra Streisand.

    July 24, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. LET IT GO

    CNN why is this news.

    July 24, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  7. Joe

    Hmmm...it would be interesting to see who Bishop's victim endorses...oh wait, thats right he was beaten to death with a claw hammer.
    Good for Mississippi for bringing this guy to justice!

    July 24, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. Hmmmmmm

    Once again today my comment was not posted at 12:49..probably cause it was against Obama.

    July 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. ProundToBeDemocrat

    The justice system in America needs to be fixed before they decide to send anybody to death penalty.

    July 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. East Coast Bum


    Report on why Johnny Oil Boy canclelled his speach about Oil, something about 100 miles closed today.......
    REPORT SOME REAL NEWS for once!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. Open Your 3rd Eye

    What the hell does this have to do with anything? Can you guys just cover the speech today, this attempt is just weak.

    July 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. phill

    Who cares, we all have a right to vote and express our political beliefs why should it be any different for this man. Judge and you will be judged.

    July 24, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. McCain Lies!

    Hey fella from Chicago – be careful what you wish for you moron, it will come back to you.

    July 24, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. David in Shawnee

    CNN – the same inmate said that there was a large sum of money in a foreign bank account that you could have for a small processing fee. Congratulations on being manipulated by an inmate who wanted to make the media one last time.

    July 24, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. Ed from Canada

    Some of the comments posted on here reak of racism and prejudice to the utmost extreme....
    Matthew July 24th, 2008 12:42 pm ET

    Well that should say something about the kind of company Obama keeps. Racist preachers, drug dealers, and now murderers.
    fella from Chicago July 24th, 2008 12:44 pm ET

    A dead Obama supporter is a good Obama supporter.-

    I sure hope that you two don't have kids and they are cursed with that type of thinking...
    Please do us a favor up in Canada and stay down there... you two are the ones that should be watched with that type of attitude...
    Funny how our crime rate up here in Canada is so much lower and we don't have the right to bear arms, the death penalty or any any of the other so-called "freedom" or "liberties" that the USA has...
    Obama is going to be your next president and no matter racist, slanderous comments are made by people like "Mathew" or "fella from Chicago", nothing is going to change that fact...
    I cannot wait for the debates when Obama's lead will be in the double digits in the polls..
    A poll here was conducted a while ago that stated that if Obama was the leader of any party here, he would win by a landslide to be our Prime Minister... food for thought eh???

    July 24, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Dana

    I am not surprised about CNN always putting any little thing about Obama in the media. They are just as bad as Fox news when it comes to Obama. But when Hilary was running CNN loved her and continued to dog Obama. I don't see Mccain or his wife under the same scrutiny the Obama's been facing since this race began!!

    And I hate to play the race card but if if wasn't dealt, I would not be able to play it!! But Obama is considered a black man even though he has white blood running through his blood. And as a black person we have to be twice as good as white person just to be even considered for the job!! The media always portray blacks in a negative way and keep up the most racial tensions in this country!!

    July 24, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. joe blow

    for all the idiots out in america who think we should abolish the death penalty, I say we should actually increase it. Let the SCUM who do heinous crimes die and die swiftly after being convicted. It needs to be used as a proper deterent, not allow these criminals to sit on death row for years and years and appeal after appeal, crying about inhumane unusual punishment, that causes pain and suffering. Thet should be killed in the same manner that they killed or harmed someone. Then and only then will you see the crime rate drop and crimes of those natures start to stop. screw the liberal's, an eye for an eye.

    July 24, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. RepublicanforObama

    I am supporting Obama in this election, but am also getting sick of how good Obama supporters are getting at taking anything about Obama and saying "I bet McCain will use this." It also bugs me how some of you think you are so witty because you can take "McCain" and change it to "McShame" or "McClueless" or "McWar." I was expecting an inteligent issue based campaign after the primaries, but McCain's campaign staff and a small percentage of Obama's voters have turned this into the usual mudslinging that I have come to expect from elections.

    July 24, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. Denise Groves

    one of the few times this poor man ever made a right choice

    July 24, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. Rick

    Typical Obama supporter.

    July 24, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. Chris

    Hey independant; guess what...the KKK endorsed Obama you genius!! Look it up!!

    July 24, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. Nation of Whiners

    I can't believe how the GOP will use this trivial story to attack Obama. I can hear them now, "what does this say about Obama if a convicted murderer admires him?"

    You just have to love haters. Who else will?

    Obama 08!

    July 24, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. Chris from NY


    July 24, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Peggy - TX

    CNN giving murders on death row a head line for their last words lowers CNN’s creditability. Unless, for 1st amendment considerations, the inmate had something to say about their own guilt or innocents then murder’s do not deserve any more attention for their thoughts then anyone else..

    A few people complain about the Obama/McCain coverage and CNN falls apart and stops filtering irrelevant news. Get your act together CNN!!!

    I personally support the Death penalty as it is and I also support Obama. His position is not significantly different from mine. Just because some of Obama’s supported to not support the death penalty is not a reason to, or not to, support a particular candidate. It is the candidate’s position that matters.

    July 24, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. J.C.

    I can't believe our government can deny child rapists the death penalty, but can give it to a guy that didn't "directly" kill someone without a second thought.

    July 24, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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