Supreme Court stays execution of Alabama man in judicial override case

Stay of execution ordered for inmate Vernon Madison
The Supreme Court Stopped Alabama From Executing A Man Over Competency Questions
Author

28 January, 2018

The US Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday halted [order, PDF] the planned execution of Alabama death row inmate Vernon Madison.

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".

The state has asked the court to let the execution proceed Thursday.

The court delayed the Thursday execution that had been scheduled as it decides whether to review claims that strokes have left Madison incompetent and that his sentence was unconstitutional.

Madison was sentenced to death for killing Mobile Police Officer Julius Schulte, who had responded to a domestic disturbance call involving Madison. They argued the court should stop the planned injection to review whether executing someone in such a mental condition violates evolving standards of decency and a ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Family members will not witness the execution of a 67-year-old Alabama inmate convicted in the 1985 slaying of a police officer.

More news: Man accused in Kasur rape, murder of seven-year-old girl held

Alabama prison system spokesman Bob Horton said Schulte's family has chosen not to witness the execution.

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. "It brings everything back to mind that this guy is still alive and my dad, who never hurt anybody, isn't here anymore", Michael Schulte said.

In 2016, the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Madison was no longer legally eligible to be executed because of his memory loss. The state is opposing the request.

Madison's attorneys, from the Equal Justice Initiative, filed a petition on his behalf with the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Madison has been convicted three times in the shooting of Mobile Police Corporal Julius Schulte, back in April 1985.

"He does not understand why the state of Alabama is attempting to execute him", they said.


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