SCOTUS Grants Madison Stay of Execution

27 January, 2018, 20:26 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Alabama Department of Corrections shows a police mug shot of Vernon Madison who is scheduled to be executed for the 1985 murder of Mobile police officer Julius Schulte on Thursday. Alabama is asking the U.S

If the U.S. Supreme Court's stay of execution is lifted, the Alabama Attorney General would need to request a new execution date from the Alabama Supreme Court.

Vernon Madison, 66, was convicted for the April 1985 murder of Mobile police officer Julius Schulte.

The stay of execution was granted by the court while the justices consider whether to take up Madison's case in which his lawyers argue he is no longer competent to face execution, noting this he has been diagnosed with vascular dementia and "is unable to recollect the sequence of events from the offense, to his arrest, to his trial and can no longer connect the underlying offense to his punishment".

His lawyers say that over the past two years, he has suffered a series of strokes and now can not remember the crime for which he was sentenced to death.

During his first two trials, Madison argued that his mental illness drove him to act and that he wasn't guilty as a result.

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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", his attorneys wrote in their petition.

A law enacted in Alabama past year eliminates the ability of judges to override juries' recommendations in capital cases.

In prior appeals, Madison's attorneys have argued their client doesn't fully understand why he is being punished because dementia has taken his ability to remember his crime.

They also argued that Madison "understands" that he carried out the crime.

The US Supreme Court previously ruled that inmates on death row must have a "rational understanding" of why they are about to be executed.

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Madison's lawyers asked Gov. Kay Ivey for clemency.

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.

Alabama inmate Vernon Madison was scheduled to be put to death last night at 6 p.m., but he is still alive this morning.

Before his execution was stayed, Madison had two oranges for his last meal and did not made any statements, officials said.

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