The Clarion-Ledger, 7/2/8

The state Supreme Court has set Dale Leo Bishop’s execution for July 23, but it has yet to rule on a new motion that seeks to spare his life.

“No legal impediment exists to setting an execution date, as the United States Supreme Court denied Bishop’s petition … on June 23, 2008,” state Supreme Court Justice William Waller Jr. wrote Tuesday in setting Bishop’s execution date.

But Waller said in a footnote in the order that the court is awaiting a response from the state on Bishop’s new motion. Jim Craig, one of Bishop’s lawyers, said Tuesday that the court, in a separate order, told the attorney general’s office to file a response by Monday on Bishop’s new appeal.

“There aren’t any other appeals until after the Supreme Court rules,” Craig said .

Bishop, 34, was convicted and sentenced to death in 2000 for the kidnapping and slaying of 22-year-old Marcus Gentry of Fulton, who was beaten with a claw hammer on a dirt logging road outside Saltillo on Dec. 10, 1998.