Sunday, March 19, 2017

"Respectfully, and reluctantly, I dissent."

That was Judge Jordan, dissenting in a death penalty case (Madison vs. Alabama DOC) in which Judge Martin writes for the majority (Wilson joined) that Vernon Madison is incompetent and therefore cannot be executed. Jordan says that's not the place of a federal court on a habeas petition to make that determination (even though he agrees with the majority that Madison is incompetent).

From the majority:

Because the Alabama trial court unreasonably determined the facts relevant to Mr. Madison’s claim and unreasonably applied controlling federal law, we do not owe the state court’s finding that Mr. Madison is competent to be executed deference under AEDPA.

From the dissent:

After reviewing the record, I believe that Vernon Madison is currently incompetent. I therefore do not think that Alabama can, consistent with the Constitution, execute him at this time for his murder of a police officer three decades ago. See generally Panetti v. Quarterman, 551 U.S. 930, 958 (2007) (explaining that a state cannot put to death a prisoner who “cannot reach a rational understanding of the reason for the execution”). But Congress has chosen to generally prohibit federal courts from adjudicating constitutional claims anew on habeas review, so Mr. Madison’s competency (or lack thereof) is not our initial call to make. Under the restrictive standards we are required to apply, see 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), and given the way we interpreted Panetti in Ferguson v. Secretary, 716 F.3d 1315 (11th Cir. 2013), I do not think Mr. Madison can obtain habeas relief.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bev is a rock star.