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Vernon Madison has spent decades on Alabama's death row.The U.S. death row population is aging, and that leaves courts increasingly likely to grapple with questions of when it becomes unconstitutionally cruel to put someone to death who is mentally frail – or whose medical conditions could complicate the execution procedure.About 2,800 people are on death row in prisons nationwide, with around about 1,200 of them over age 50, the non-profit group said.Take Alva Campbell, 69 . He died last month in an Ohio prison of natural causes after his 2017 lethal injection procedure was halted when a usable vein couldn't be found. Alabama similarly aborted last month's execution of Doyle Lee Hamm, 61, who has battled lymphoma. His lawyer said Hamm had at least 11 puncture wounds from attempts to find a vein.Madison was convicted of killing Mobile police officer Julius Schulte.The state's lawyers counter that Madison was found competent at a 2016 hearing, hasn't presented new evidence and is aware he received the death sentence – even if he doesn't remember killing Schulte.
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