Madison v. Allen, CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:09-00009-KD-B

CourtUnited States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Southern District of Alabama
Writing for the CourtKRISTI K. DuBOSE
PartiesVERNON MADISON, Petitioner, v. RICHARD ALLEN, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections, and the ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF ALABAMA Respondents.
Docket NumberCIVIL ACTION NO. 1:09-00009-KD-B
Decision Date21 March 2011

RICHARD ALLEN, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections,

CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:09-00009-KD-B


Dated: March 21, 2011


Before the Court are Petitioner Vernon Madison's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. 1-2) and "Amendment to Petitioner's Habeas Corpus Petition" (Doc. 30), along with Respondents' answers to same (Docs. 19, 38), as well as Madison's Motion for Discovery and Evidentiary Hearing (Doc. 31). On January 8, 2009, Madison initiated this action by filing a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. (Doc. 1). Madison challenges a 1994 Alabama state court judgment of conviction and death sentence for a single count of capital murder.

For the reasons set forth below, Madison's claims are DENIED and his requests for discovery and for an evidentiary hearing1 are DENIED.

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I. Procedural Posture

In May of 1985, a Mobile County grand jury indicted Madison for the murder of Julius Schulte. (Tab R-1 at 26; Indictment). Schulte was an officer in the Mobile Police Department's Juvenile Division. (Id.) The two-count indictment charged capital murder under § 13A-5-40(a)(5) of the Alabama Code. (Id.). The first count of the indictment "charged the appellant with killing a police officer who was on duty, and the second charged him with killing a police officer who was performing an official or job-related act." (Tab R-49; Madison v. State, 718 So. 2d 90 (Ala. Crim. App. 1997)); (Tab R-1 at 26; Indictment). Madison pled not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. See Madison v. State, 620 So. 2d 62, 63 (Ala. Crim. App. 1992).

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Madison was tried three times for the murder of Officer Schulte. On September 12, 1985, at the conclusion of his first trial, a jury found Madison guilty of capital murder. See id. The trial court then sentenced Madison to death. See id. Madison appealed, and the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals determined that the prosecution had violated Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), reversed Madison's conviction and sentence, and remanded his case for a new trial. Madison v. State, 545 So. 2d 94, 99 (Ala. Crim. App. 1987) (finding that prosecutor's explanations for use of peremptory strikes to remove all seven black prospective jurors from venire were "superficial, show[ed] a lack of proper examination" and did not overcome the defendant's prima facie case). Following his second trial in September of 1990, Madison was again convicted and sentenced to death. Madison, 620 So. 2d at 63. Madison's second conviction and death sentence were also reversed and the case again remanded for a new trial, this time due to a violation of Ex parte Wesley, 575 So. 2d 127 (Ala. 1990). See Madison, 620 So. 2d at 71 (reversing because prosecution psychologist Dr. McClaren was permitted, during the guilt phase of trial, to state his opinion of the appellant's mental condition at the time the offense was committed, despite the fact that McClaren's opinion was based in part on information not in evidence).

Madison's third trial commenced on April 18, 1994. (Tab R-5 at 1; Tr. Transcript, Vol. 2, p. R-25). Three days later, on April 21, 1994, Madison was again convicted of capital murder. (Tab R-16 at 1-2; Tr. Transcript, Vol. 5, pp. R-704-705). The penalty phase of the trial was then conducted before the jury (Tab R-17 at 1; Tr. Transcript, Vol. 5, p. R-706), which, by a vote of 8 to 4, recommended a sentence of life imprisonment without parole. (Tab R-26 at 1; Tr. Transcript, Vol. 5, p. R-800). However, at the sentencing hearing on July 7, 1994, the trial court overrode the jury's recommendation and sentenced Madison to death. (Tab R-29 at 1; Tr.

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Transcript, Vol. 6, p. 25). On direct appeal, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Madison's capital murder conviction and death sentence. (Tab R-49; Madison, 718 So. 2d 90).

On certiorari review of Madison's direct appeal following his third trial, the Alabama Supreme Court specifically addressed 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 the capital conviction. (Tab R-50; Ex parte Madison, 718 So. 2d 104, 106 (Ala. 1998)). The Alabama Supreme Court affirmed Madison's conviction and sentence on June 19, 1998. Id. at 105-108 (interpreting § 13A-5-40(a)(5) as stating two alternative theories of proving a single offense and concluding "that the requirement for unanimous verdicts does not extend to unanimous agreement on the theory or means by which a defendant committed the crime"). Madison then petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari, which the high court denied on November 16, 1998. (Tab R-51; Madison v. Alabama, 525 U.S. 1006 (1998)).

Madison timely initiated a collateral attack on his conviction and death sentence by filing a petition for postconviction relief pursuant to Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure on June 18, 1999. (Tab R-37; Petition Pursuant to Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure). The State of Alabama responded on July 14, 1999, filing an answer (Tab R-38; Answer) and a motion to dismiss (Tab R-40; Motion for Dismissal). However, the circuit court did not dispose of Madison's Rule 32 motion until August 2005, after the State renewed and revised its 1999 motion to dismiss. On August 25, 2005, the circuit court granted the

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renewed and revised motion to dismiss, summarily dismissing Madison's petition. (Tab R-52; Order Addressing Madison's Rule 32 Petition).2

Madison appealed the dismissal of his Rule 32 petition, and on September 29, 2006, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the lower court's dismissal. (Tab R-53; Madison v. State, 999 So. 2d 561 (Ala. Crim. App. 2006)). On December 1, 2006, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied Madison's request for a rehearing. Id. Finally, Madison sought certiorari review in Alabama's Supreme Court, which was denied on August 15, 2008. (Tab R-54; Certificate of Judgment Denying Writ).

On December 2, 2008, Madison timely filed the instant petition pursuant to § 2254 of Title 28 of the United States Code. (Doc. 1). Respondent filed his answer to the petition on April 29, 2009. (Doc. 19). On January 20, 2010, Madison filed an amendment to his § 2254 petition. (Doc. 30). Respondent answered the amendment on April 27, 2010. (Doc. 38).

II. Factual Background

In its opinion affirming Madison's capital murder conviction and death sentence, the Alabama Supreme Court summarized the underlying facts of this case as follows:

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

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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 cop."

(Tab R-50; Ex parte Madison, 718 So. 2d at 105).

III. Discussion

As outlined above, Madison has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("§ 2254"), setting forth 34 claims in support of his request for habeas relief. For clarity, the Court has numbered Madison's habeas claims 1-34, in the order in which they have been asserted in Madison's pleadings, as follows:

Claim 1: The state circuit court should not have summarily dismissed Madison's Rule 32 petition. (Doc. 1-2, ¶ III.A).

Claims 2-16: Madison's trial counsel was ineffective. (Doc. 1-2, ¶ III.B (pp. 7-12 of the petition contain 15 separate ineffective assistance of trial counsel claims); Doc. 30, ¶ B.1.a-c).

Claim 17: Madison's Brady claim should not have been dismissed. (Doc. 1-2, ¶ III.C.).

Claim 18: The State of Alabama discriminated in the selection of the grand jury. (Doc. 1-2, ¶ III.D.).

Claim 19: The trial court had a sua sponte duty to recuse itself from deciding the case. (Doc. 1-2, ¶ III.E; Doc. 30, ¶ D.1.).

Claim 20: Madison's death sentence was imposed due to racial bias. (Doc. 1-2, ¶ III.F).

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Claim 21: ...

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