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Vernon Madison’s Death Sentence Continues

On Monday, November 6, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a per curiam decision that reversed the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that Vernon Madison, who around 1987 killed police officer Julius Schulte by shooting in him in the head twice, was not competent to stand trial.

Madison had been in prison on death row for more than 30 years.  While in prison he had suffered numerous strokes.  In 2017, he no longer remembered the crime.  On appeal, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held that executing Madison would be ““plainly unreasonable” and “cannot be reconciled with any reasonable application of Panetti.”  Panetti v. Quarerman, 551 US 930 (2007)., at 1187–1188 (internal quotation marks omitted).”

Aside from the per curiam (or all justices in agreement opinion) were the concurrences by Justices Ginsberg, Breyer and Sotomayor, which urged reconsideration of the notion of capital punishment.

Breyer’s concurring opinion ends with the statement “I believe it would be wiser to reconsider the root cause of the problem—the constitutionality of the death penalty itself.”

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Dunn v. Madison slip opinion:

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