NEWS (7/17/20) — Tennessee: Citing coronavirus concerns, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has is a reprieve postponing the scheduled August 4, 2020 execution of Harold Nichols. In a statement to the media, Lee said he granted Nichols a “temporary reprieve from execution until December 31, 2020, due to the challenges and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Nichols’ execution is the third halted in Tennessee as a result of the pandemic. The Tennessee Supreme Court previously stayed Oscar Smith’s execution, scheduled for June 4, and Byron Black’s execution, which was scheduled for October 8. The Tennessee Supreme Court may reschedule Nichols’ execution after the reprieve expires. One additional death-row prisoner is scheduled to be put to death in Tennessee in 2020. Pervis Payne is scheduled for execution on December 3.


Adam Tamburin and Mariah Timms, Harold Nichols: Governor delays August exe­cu­tion over coro­n­avirus con­cerns, The Tennessean, July 17, 2000; Steven Hale, Governor Grants Reprieve for Harold Nichols, Nashville Scene, July 172020.