The Clarion-Ledger, 7/20/8

Mississippi prison officials plan to execute Dale Leo Bishop Wednesday – unless a court halts them.

But this wouldn’t be happening to the 34-year-old inmate if he had been convicted in the neighboring states of Alabama or Louisiana. That’s because 13 of the 36 states with the death penalty – as well as the U.S. military – bar the execution of a defendant who wasn’t directly responsible for a slaying.

If Bishop, who suffers from mental illness, receives a lethal injection on Wednesday, he would be only the eighth person put to death – and the first since 1996 – who did not directly kill the victim (not including contract killings) in the more than 1,100 executions since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.