Ex parte Vernon Madison
PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI
TO THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS
(Re: Vernon Madison
(Mobile Circuit Court, CC-85-1385.80;
Court of Criminal Appeals, CR-93-1788)
At his third trial, a jury convicted Vernon Madison of the
capital murder of a peace, or law enforcement, officer. The trial
court sentenced Madison to death. The Court of Criminal Appeals
affirmed. Madison v. State, [Ms. CR-93-1788, Jan. 17, 1997]
So. 2d (Ala. Crim. App. 1997). On certiorari review, we
examine a single issue: Whether the trial court deprived Madison of
his constitutional rights by not requiring the jury to reach a
unanimous agreement on which of two alternative theories supported
his conviction for the capital offense. Because we hold that the
requirement for unanimous verdicts does not extend to unanimous
agreement on the theory or means by which a defendant committed the
crime, we affirm the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals.
At Madison's first trial, a jury convicted him of capital
murder and the trial court sentenced him to death. The Court of
Criminal Appeals reversed his conviction and remanded the case for
a new trial. Madison v. State, 545 So. 2d 94 (Ala. Crim. App.
1987). At Madison's second trial, a jury again convicted him of
capital murder, and the trial court again sentenced him to death.
The Court of Criminal Appeals again reversed his conviction and
remanded the case for a new trial. Madison v. State, 620 So. 2d 62
(Ala. Crim. App. 1992).
The evidence presented at Madison's third trial showed that on
April 18, 1985, Cpl. Julius Shulte, an officer of the Mobile Police
Department, was dispatched to Cheryl Green's home to investigate a
report that Green's 11-year-old daughter was missing. Corporal
Shulte was not in his police uniform and was not in a marked car.
He was, however, wearing a Mobile Police Department badge.
Madison, who until a few days earlier had been living with Green,
came to Green's home, before Cpl. Shulte arrived, to retrieve
personal items that Green had thrown out of the house. By the time
Cpl. Shulte arrived at Green's home, Green's daughter had already
returned. Nonetheless, neighbors asked Cpl. Shulte to stay until
Madison had left Green and her child safely alone.
Green and Madison came out of the house and talked to Cpl.
Shulte, who never got out of his car. After a brief conversation
with Cpl. Shulte, Madison appeared to leave. Actually, he walked
about a block away and returned with a .32 caliber pistol; he
covertly walked up behind Cpl. Shulte, while Cpl. Shulte was still
in his car. Madison fired two shots at near point-blank range, one
into the back of Cpl. Shulte's head and one into his left temple.
Madison then shot Green twice in the back and fled the murder
scene. He subsequently told an acquaintance, "I just killed a
The indictment read to Madison's third jury charged him with
the capital murder of a law enforcement officer who was "on duty"
or who was performing some "official or job-related act."
This guy had 3 trials!