JUDGE MILLS ALLOWS APPEAL ABOUT POOR COUNSEL ISSUE
7/19/2008 9:19:16 AM
BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD
OXFORD - Dale Leo Bishop of Guntown, condemned for his role in a 1998
murder-kidnapping, can try to convince the 5th Circuit Court of
Appeals that incompetent counsel cost him a chance at life in prison
instead of the death penalty.
Friday, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Michael P. Mills ordered
Bishop's motion sent to the New Orleans-based court to determine
whether his contentions will be allowed.
In writing his order, Mills said Bishop has made "substantive claims"
with accusations that his trial attorneys did not present facts about
his mental state and appeals counsel suppressed evidence that cost
him his right to challenge his own mental competency.
Also, an appeal filed Friday with the U.S. Supreme Court seeks a
determination of whether an inmate convicted of a capital crime has a
constitutional right to legal representation during a post-conviction
appeal, according to Bishop's attorneys.
Bishop is scheduled to die by lethal injection Wednesday in the
Mississippi State Penitentiary.
A 2000 Lee County jury found him guilty of capital murder in the
death of Marcus James Gentry of Fulton. The capital murder charge
came from the accusation Gentry also was kidnapped.
Appeared originally in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal,
7/19/2008, section A , page 6