A federal court of appeals has stayed Thursday night’s scheduled execution of cop killer Vernon Madison.
The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the stay. Madison was to be executed by lethal injection at Holman Prison near Atmore.
Alabama Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn and Attorney General Luther Strange filed an emergency petition, hoping the execution could still take place before midnight.
Madison’s attorneys have argued that their client is not mentally competent due to several strokes and dementia.
Madison killed mobile police officer Julius Shulte in 1985. Shulte was sitting in his squad car outside a home in Toulminville. Madison also shot his ex-girlfriend in the house on Etta Street. She survived. Shulte died several days later.
Madison was convicted in 1986 by an all-white jury. Due to that potential bias, he was granted a second trial in 1990. He was once again found guilty of capital murder but that conviction was overthrown as well due to improper expert testimony. Madison was tried and convicted for a third and final time in 1994. Twenty-two years later he is still alive.
Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran at one time worked under Shulte at the Mobile Police Department. He says he’s hopeful Madison will ultimately be executed.
“We have stood patiently by and trusted in the justice system,” Cochran said. “This guy has had three different trials, has been found guilty three times and sentenced to death three times. It’s tough on the family members and the rest of the people who have followed it and stood by patiently to see justice served.”