Stay of execution ordered for inmate Vernon Madison

Court halts execution of Alabama inmate with dementia

The U.S. Supreme Court halted the planned execution on Thursday of an Alabama man convicted of murdering a police officer in 1985 after attorneys petitioned to spare the man's life, arguing that he had suffered several strokes that left him unable to remember the crime.

Vernon Madison, 67, had been scheduled to die by lethal injection for the killing of a police officer in Mobile in 1985.

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.

His lawyers say that over the past two years, he has suffered a series of strokes and now can not remember the crime for which he was sentenced to death.

His death by lethal injection was planned for 18:00 local time on Thursday and would have been the second scheduled execution in the United States this year. Prosecutors have said that Madison crept up and shot Schulte in the back of the head as he sat in his police auto. His legal team states that Madison has dementia and does not remember killing a police officer three decades ago.

Madison's attorneys also have asked for a stay on the grounds that a judge sentenced him to death, even though a jury recommended life imprisonment. The Court explained that Madison could not appeal his death penalty sentence, which was given by a state court, in the federal judicial system.

California parents at center of disturbing captivity case have ties to Virginia
A sister of Louise served with the missionary group Pioneers for Christ, while David was brought up in the Pentecostal faith. Medical experts said they expect that the children will require long-term psychological support in their recovery.

About two and a half hours later, the high court announced that a stay had been granted while the court decides what to do with an appeal from the defense.

The Supreme Court has generally been suspicious of judge-imposed executions. The Supreme Court has ruled that condemned inmates must have a "rational understanding" that they are about to be executed and why.

The Alabama attorney general's office, in opposing the stay, said the 2017 legislation was not retroactive and did not affect Madison and other inmates already on death row. But the judge overruled it and ordered that Madison be executed.

"N$3 o state now allows a judge to override a jury's capital sentencing verdict".

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch noted that they would have allowed the execution to proceed.

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