Alabama Inmate Granted Stay of Execution for Dementia

27 January, 2018, 20:21 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Vernon Madison

The U.S. Supreme Court intervened in an execution January 25, roughly 30 minutes before the state was scheduled to carry out the death sentence of 67-year-old Vernon Madison, convicted of the 1985 capital murder of Mobile Police Officer Julius Schulte.

Madison had been sentenced to death for the 1985 killing of Mobile police officer Julius Schulte.

Less than an hour before the execution, the Supreme Court ordered a temporary halt to consider his last-minute appeal. In the three decades since, Madison's lawyers say he's suffered multiple strokes and now has vascular dementia.

The son of a slain Alabama police officer said his father should not be forgotten as courts and media focus on the legal wrangling over whether his father's killer should be executed.

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Madison's lawyers say he is legally blind, has slurred speech, can not walk on his own and suffers from urinary incontinence.

In 1985, Schulte had responded to a call about a missing child made by Madison's then-girlfriend.

Madison appeared to leave his girlfriend's home after retrieving his belongings, but then crept up behind Schulte as he sat in his patrol auto and shot him twice in the back of the head with a.32-caliber pistol.

At his first and second trials, he argued he was not guilty because he was mentally ill.

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"Given Alabama's rejection of judicial override, the death sentence in this case constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and violates Mr. Madison's rights to a jury, fair and reliable sentencing and to due process and equal protection of the laws as guaranteed by the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and Alabama law", they wrote in their petition. They also say his health is declining.

Alabama prison spokesman Bob Horton said the state will not execute Madison as planned because of the U.S. Supreme Court order.

They argued that he does not understand why the state is attempting to execute him and that because of his condition, he is incompetent for capital punishment.

The stay of execution for 67-year-old Vernon Madison remains in place at least until the Supreme Court decides whether to hear his case.

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