Alabama Supremes Deny Appeals for 4 Alabama DR Inmates

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Court nixes motions to review 4 Ala. death penalty cases

The Alabama Supreme Court has turned back motions to review 4 Alabama death penalty cases, including the appeal of Westley Devone Harris, convicted of killing 6 members of a Crenshaw County family.

The court on Friday also refused to hear the appeals of death row inmates Vernon Madison, Geoffrey Todd West and Ulysses Charles Sneed. The court issued no written opinions.

All 4 condemned men have further appeals available.

Harris was sentenced to die for the 2002 murders of 6 members of his girlfriend's family at their farm in Rutledge.

Madison was convicted in the 1985 murder of a Mobile police officer. West was sentenced to die for the killing of an Etowah County store clerk in 1997. And Sneed received a death sentence for the killing of a store clerk in Decatur in 1993.

(source: Associated Press)


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).[1]

           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!
Thanks for your time
And you can thank me for mine
And after that's said
Forget it.


More than 10 years after the first trial, a second Morgan County jury convicted Ulysses Charles Sneed of capital murder in the 1993 slaying of Clarence Terry, a Bud's convenience store clerk.

The jury will decide whether to recommend death or life without parole for Sneed on Monday in Circuit Court.

Sneed was first tried in 1995 with co-defendant John Hardy, who shot Terry multiple times with a rifle Sept. 7, 1993. Terry, 51, was working the night shift at Bud's on Westmead.

A jury convicted both men of capital murder, and Judge Sherrie Paler sentenced them to death.

The state Supreme Court overturned Sneed's conviction and sentence in 2000 based on a statement that was entered as evidence.

Deliberations lasted for about four hours Friday before the jury reached a verdict.

Earlier, prosecution and defense attorneys presented closing arguments.

Defense attorneys Allen Stoner and Carl Cowart contended that Sneed was guilty of felony murder but not capital.

Stoner said in his closing argument that Sneed's participation in the robbery made him guilty of the lesser-included charge.

"You needn't worry about turning Mr. Sneed lose on the street," Stoner told the jury. "He will be punished."

He went over evidence and encouraged jurors to watch the videotape, which recorded the crime.

Stoner said District Attorney Bob Burrell had to prove that Sneed had intended for Terry to die.

"You cannot look into somebody's head to say there's the intent," Stoner said.

In rebuttal argument, Burrell told the jury that Hardy or Sneed could've easily manhandled Terry because of his small frame.

"The defendant weighed 275 pounds at the time, and Hardy was 6'5" tall. Clarence Nugene Terry weighed 119 pounds," Burrell said. "Either one of them could've jerked that little man up with one hand."

As to Sneed's intent, Burrell said, "I don't know what he was thinking, but I know what he did."

Sneed testified Thursday that he did not know that Hardy was going to kill Terry. He denied hearing the gunshot Hardy fired as the two entered the store.

The videotape showed Terry duck behind the counter and crawl underneath the counter to avoid being shot.

Sneed went to the cash register and was shown trying to open it, and Hardy went around him to Terry, leaned over and shot the victim.

"While Mr. Hardy took care of the clerk, he (Sneed) took care of the cash register, and there they go out the door," Burrell told the jury.

Sneed was 23 when the murder occurred. He and a friend, Chris Hines, who had relatives in Tanner, were there visiting from Kentucky. Hardy and Hines are cousins.

Hardy remains on Alabama's death row.

This is an old article, but offers some insight into Sneed's crimes

Thanks for your time
And you can thank me for mine
And after that's said
Forget it.

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