Request for execution stay says condemned Alabama man is incompetent

Updated: Jan. 22, 2018 at 7:35 PM CST
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(WBRC) - A man scheduled to be executed in Alabama Thursday must now wait on the U.S. Supreme Court to determine his fate.

Attorneys for Vernon Madison have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay his execution, arguing Madison has dementia and does not remember his crime or even know that he's on death row.

Madison, 67, has suffered multiple strokes, is legally blind and cannot walk on his own, according to his attorneys. He's been on death row for 30 years, convicted in the 1985 murder of Mobile police officer Julius Schulte.

Alabama's Attorney General has filed a motion asking the court to allow the execution to proceed. So far the Court has taken no action on the latest motions.

Madison was previously scheduled to die by lethal injection in 2016, but the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals postponed the execution by granting a stay, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld.

In 1994, a jury recommended Madison be sentenced to life without parole, but a Mobile County Circuit Judge overrode the jury's verdict and instead sentenced Madison to death.

In 2017, a change in Alabama law banned the practice of "judicial override," which gave judges the power to impose a death sentence, even when a jury voted for life without parole. The change in law did not apply to inmates, like Madison, already sentenced to death.

Alabama's Department of Corrections (ADOC) sent out a media advisory January 18 which announced Madison was scheduled for execution on Thursday January 25 at 6:00 p.m. at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.

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