Supreme Court Rejects Madison Appeal

Jan 22, 2018

Death row housing unit at W.C. Holman Correctional Facility
Credit EJI

The Supreme Court has paved the way for a death row inmate to be put to death on Thursday, despite his lawyers pleading he doesn’t currently remember his crime or even understand his looming execution.

Attorneys for Vernon Madison petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday asking them to review his case and whether executing him would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Justices rejected that request this morning without issuing a written explanation.

Attorney Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative argues multiple strokes and dementia have left Madison legally blind, unable to walk independently and with "no memory of the commission of the offense for which the state seeks to execute him”.

Courts have been split as to whether Madison is competent to be executed. In May 2016, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals halted Madison’s execution just seven hours before he was scheduled to die.

Madison was convicted of the 1985 killing of Mobile police officer Julius Schulte, who had responded to a domestic call involving Madison. Prosecutors say Madison shot Schulte as he sat in his police car.