MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Lawyers for an Alabama inmate scheduled to be executed next week said multiple strokes and dementia have left him unable to remember his crime or understand his looming execution.
Vernon Madison’s attorneys, in a Friday petition, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review his case and whether executing him Thursday would violate the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
“Vernon Madison suffers from vascular dementia and as a result of bodily and cognitive decline, has no memory of the commission of the offense for which the state seeks to execute him on January 25, 2018,” attorney Bryan Stevenson, of the Equal Justice Initiative, wrote in the petition.
Madison, 67, is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection at a south Alabama prison.
Madison was convicted in the 1985 killing of Mobile police Officer Julius Schulte, who had responded to a domestic call involving Madison. Prosecutors said Madison crept up and shot Schulte in the back of the head as he sat in his police car.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled Madison incompetent and in May 2016 halted Madison’s execution seven hours before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection.
The Supreme Court in November ruled the execution could proceed. The Supreme Court said then in an unsigned opinion that testimony shows Madison “recognizes that he will be put to death as punishment for the murder he was found to have committed.”
Madison’s attorneys wrote that Madison has slurred speech, is legally blind, can no longer walk independently and has urinary incontinence as a consequence of damage to his brain.
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