When a death row inmate is executed, there is an expectation and legal requirement that the individual has a rational understanding that he or she is about to be executed and why he or she is facing execution. Most inmates remember their crime, and they are able to answer in the affirmative that they understand the reason for their punishment. However, one Alabama man is proving to be an exception to this understanding. Now, his lawyers argue that because he suffers from dementia, and does not remember his crime over 30 years ago, that he is unfit for execution. The U.S. Supreme Court must now decide if Vernon Madison will die by lethal injection.
Late last month, the Supreme Court battled it out over the legality of the government freezing money unconnected to a crime. Justice Stephen G. Breyer said the case was a simple one, that the government can confiscate "a robber's loot, a drug seller's cocaine, a burglar's tools, or other property associated with the planning, implementing, or concealing of a crime." However, there is one thing it cannot do and it is this: freeze money or other assets unconnected to the crime.
The Supreme Court is hearing a case on a defendant's rights to seized assets that may set new precedent on the subject. The case centers on Sila Luis, a Miami woman who was indicted in 2012 for Medicare fraud. The allegations against Luis claim that she and two co-defendants used bribes and false claims to defraud Medicare of $50 million dollars.