Vernon Madison, 66, has spent almost half his life on Alabama’s Death Row. His life is expected to end there this week.
Madison, convicted of shooting Mobile police officer Julius Schulte to death in 1985, is scheduled for execution at 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 25, at William C. Holman Correctional Facility near Atmore.
Barring any last-minute reprieves, Madison will become the sixth convict put to death by the state since executions resumed in 2016.
According to court records, Madison shot the Mobile policeman point-blank in the head on April 18, 1985, when Schulte responded to a report of a missing child at the home where Madison, a parolee at the time, was staying. He entered the state prison system on November 12, 1985.
Equal Justice Initiative, a Montgomery-based nonprofit law firm that primarily represents prisoners and the poor, is serving as Madison’s legal representative, and EJI lawyers argue that there are two primary reasons Madison should not be executed.
They note that the jury that convicted Madison recommended life without parole, but the presiding judge overrode the jury’s recommendation and sentenced him to death. They also argue that the convicted cop-killer has had several strokes and now suffers from vascular dementia.
In a 2017 habeas corpus filing, attorneys for the condemned man argued that their client “has no memory of committing the murder” and “does not have a rational understanding of why the state is seeking to execute him.”
Several judges have already rejected the incompetency arguments.