Published: Sun, January 28, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Alabama Inmate Granted Stay of Execution for Dementia

Alabama Inmate Granted Stay of Execution for Dementia

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.

The court issued a stay Thursday night to consider arguments from 67-year-old Vernon Madison's attorneys.

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.

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

Slain police Officer Julius Schulte's son Michael Schulte said Friday that a series of last-minute executions stays have been hard for his family and means "this tragedy isn't finished".

The Supreme Court has generally been suspicious of judge-imposed executions.

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Vernon Madison is scheduled to be put to death at 6 p.m. CST Thursday by lethal injection for the killing of Mobile police Officer Julius Schulte.

Madison was sentenced to death for killing Mobile Police Officer Julius Schulte, who had responded to a domestic disturbance call involving Madison. At least five justices had to vote to grant the stay of execution, but justices do not have to announce their vote on stay applications like Madison's stay request, so the exact vote tally - and the votes of the other justices - are not known publicly. 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. He said his mother received hundreds of letters after her husband's death, including many from people who said Schulte helped them turn their lives around.

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

Madison's attorneys say he no longer remembers killing the officer because of stroke-induced dementia.

Marshall said Friday that he was disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to stay the execution of Vernon Madison since he had previously been ruled competent to face execution.

Prosecutors had to try Madison three times to secure a conviction.

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