John Grisham Online: Grisham against the execution of a man not directly at fault in killing

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green and white leafed plantsGrisham against the execution of a man not directly at fault in killing

Dale Leo Bishop, who suffered a mental illness, has been executed at the Mississippi State Penitentiary for his role in the claw hammer killing of Marcus James Gentry.

Bishop’s attorneys said his life should have been spared because he did not swing the hammer that killed Gentry in 1998.

Bishop acknowledged participating in the attack, but another man, Jessie Johnson, admitted striking the lethal blows. Johnson was tried separately and sentenced to life without parole.

Before the execution, Gentry’s mother, Kathy, said she had no comment on Wednesday’s execution, but author John Grisham called on authorities to spare Bishop.

“He should be given life without parole in a maximum-security unit, and perhaps he could serve his time with the man who pulled the trigger,” Grisham said. “Sadly, these types of cases are not unusual. And bad defense lawyering happens every day.”

Corrections spokeswoman Tara Booth says Bishop died by lethal injection at 6:14 p.m. Wednesday with members of Gentry’s family in attendance.

Sources:, WLBT3

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