SCOTUS Grants Madison Stay of Execution

Jan 26, 2018

Vernon Madison
Credit EJI

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

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of execution last night in order to consider arguments from the 67-year-old inmate’s attorneys. Madison had been sentenced to death for the 1985 killing of Mobile police officer Julius Schulte. In the three decades since, Madison’s lawyers say he’s suffered multiple strokes and now has vascular dementia. That has left him unable to remember the crime he committed or understand his looming execution.

The Supreme Court has previously ruled that condemned inmates must have a "rational understanding" why they are being executed.

The Alabama attorney general's office opposed the stay, arguing that a state court has ruled Madison competent to face execution and Madison has presented nothing new that would reverse the finding.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch were opposed to the stay, according to the order issued last night.