Supreme Court stays execution of Alabama man in judicial override case

Stay of execution ordered for inmate Vernon Madison

The U.S. Supreme Court intervened in an execution January 25, roughly 30 minutes before the state was scheduled to carry out the death sentence of 67-year-old Vernon Madison, convicted of the 1985 capital murder of Mobile Police Officer Julius Schulte.

Madison's attorneys petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari, claiming that Madison is not competent and the execution would violate the Eighth Amendment as cruel and unusual punishment. Madison's lawyer says strokes and dementia have left Madison unable to understand his looming execution.

State courts upheld Madison's death sentence, and the Supreme Court, applying the 1996 law, said those decisions should be respected. Julius Schulte (right) and shot him in the back of the head in April, 1985. The jury in his trial recommended life in prison.

Florida and DE, the only two other states that permitted judicial override, abolished the practice after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in January 2016 that the Florida system of allowing jurors to make advisory capital-punishment recommendations violated the Sixth Amendment.

Lawyers for Alabama argue that Madison's own expert witness has testified that he understands what he was tried for and "the meaning of a death sentence".

"We are thrilled that the court stopped this execution tonight".

"No state now allows a judge to override a jury's capital sentencing verdict", says the cert petition filed by Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative.

Madison's attorneys, from the Equal Justice Initiative, filed a petition on his behalf with the Supreme Court on Wednesday. But the judge overruled it and ordered that Madison be executed. Alabama lawmakers in 2017 changed the law to no longer allow a judge to override a jury's sentence recommendation in death penalty-eligible cases.

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. However, appealate courts overturned Madison's convictions twice based on prosecutorial misconduct.

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

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump ready to apologize over Britain First retweets
Jan 29, 2018 - 03:33
I am for women, I am for men, I am for everyone. "And women are doing great, and I'm happy about that". PM: "Thank you, Mr President ". "But I am a tremendous supporter of the United Kingdom ".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top WWE Royal Rumble 2018
Jan 29, 2018 - 03:30
For the female Royal Rumble odds, Asuka remains a 11/8 favorite to win the first ever Women's Royal Rumble match . She was recently photographed having dinner with WWE COO Triple H, but she reiterated nothing is a done deal.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top European Central Bank monetary stimulus still needed to push up inflation -Draghi
Jan 28, 2018 - 00:16
The bank says it will continue its 30 billion euros ($36 billion) in monthly bond purchases at least until September. There was also no change in the wording of the forward guidance, contrary to market expectations.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Broncos Keep Eye On Top QBs Before Draft
Jan 28, 2018 - 00:14
The practices are the primary focus of National Football League teams but Virginia's Bengert says winning matters, too. The bigger storyline to watch is whether or not Mayfield can jump either Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold on draft boards.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top How can parents torture their children?
Jan 27, 2018 - 16:44
The parents were jailed on $12 million bail each after pleading not guilty Thursday at their first court appearance. State records show the residence was designated Sandcastle Day School , with David Turpin listed as the principal.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Animal Cruelty: Poor Dog Nearly Dies After Her Owner Dies Her Purple
Jan 27, 2018 - 16:42
Have you ever tried your hair dye on the dog? Well after the proper bandaging and treatment, the dog starts working perfectly.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Coming Next Week: Super Blue Blood Moon
Jan 27, 2018 - 16:40
It's getting to be that we need a lunar scorecard! But a blue moon isn't blue at all, and Wednesday's moon will be no exception. This three-fold scenario is rare; the last time a supermoon and a lunar eclipse occurred at the same time was 150 years ago.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon resigns amid Larry Nassar scandal
Jan 26, 2018 - 01:47
Former Spartan athletes are among the more than 150 women and girls who have spoken over the last week at Nassar's sentencing . How is the Michigan State case different? As it stands now , the board's vote for supporting President Simon stands at 7-1.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Doomsday Clock Moves Closer To Midnight, We're 2 Minutes From World Annihilation
Jan 26, 2018 - 01:45
The last time the clock was updated was just under one year ago. "And as a effect , Earth has warmed by one degree", Kartha said. When it was created in 1947, the clock's hand stood at seven minutes to midnight.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Alaska is best place to watch Super Blue Blood Moon
Jan 25, 2018 - 00:56
We already had one on the first of this month and our second will be January 31, making it a blue moon. Supposedly the blood moon enhances these effects, but there's no evidence to back up either claim.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Smart speaker comes with option to mute Siri
Jan 25, 2018 - 00:50
Revealed at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference ( WWDC ) in June 2017 , the HomePod smart speaker is keeping fans waiting. Perhaps more importantly, HomePod is also a smart speaker , marking Apple's first competitor to Google Home and Amazon Echo .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Alaska quake prompts tsunami watch in Bay Area
Jan 24, 2018 - 11:27
A tsunami alert was issued following a large natural disaster off the coast of Alaska. It is safe to return to coastal areas.' City says school will happen today.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Watford sack manager Marco Silva, replace him with Javi Gracia
Jan 23, 2018 - 01:40
The Hornets' hierarchy have blamed Everton's approach to sign Silva in November as the reason the team has played so poorly. Watford have named Javi Gracia as their new head coach, hours after the Premier League club sacked Marco Silva .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Tommy Fleetwood says Rory McIlroy ready to return to winning ways
Jan 23, 2018 - 01:40
But Fleetwood birdied the 10th, 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th holes and closed out victory on the last when he rolled in a 5-footer. McIlroy finished tied for third place and congratulated Fleetwood and said: "This is an incredible win for him.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Natalie Portman was 13 when sent 'rape fantasy' fan mail
Jan 23, 2018 - 01:36
To take back control of her body, Portman chose to take roles that strayed from any sexual content, not even kissing. Portman said: 'Movie reviewers talked about my budding breasts in reviews'.