Entries tagged with “Bill Lee

Policy Issues

Secrecy

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Recent Legislative Activity

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Methods of Execution

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Lethal Injection

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May 02, 2023

As Tennessee Legislature Ends, Two Death-Penalty Bills Fail and One Passes

Bills to alter the state’s method of exe­cu­tion and to make the exe­cu­tion process more trans­par­ent failed in Tennessee’s leg­is­la­ture this year as its ses­sion con­clud­ed. In an effort to facil­i­tate exe­cu­tions bogged down by the state’s prob­lems with lethal injec­tion, a bill was pro­posed to give pris­on­ers the option of the fir­ing squad for their exe­cu­tion. Following an inde­pen­dent inves­ti­ga­tion into Tennessee’s lethal injec­tion pro­to­cols, Governor Bill Lee ® had sus­pend­ed exe­cu­tions on January 52023.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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Race

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Upcoming Executions

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Nov 09, 2020

Citing COVID-19, Governor Grants Reprieve to Tennessee Death-Row Prisoner Pervis Payne

Citing the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has grant­ed a tem­po­rary reprieve to death-row pris­on­er Pervis Payne, halt­ing his sched­uled December 3, 2020 exe­cu­tion. The exe­cu­tion was the last sched­uled by any state in 2020, assur­ing that states will car­ry out few­er exe­cu­tions in 2020 than in any oth­er year since 1983.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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Race

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Clemency

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Recent Legislative Activity

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Apr 02, 2021

Clemency Efforts for Pervis Payne Gain Widespread Support as Execution Reprieve Set to Expire

Clemency efforts on behalf of Tennessee death-row pris­on­er Pervis Payne (pic­tured) are surg­ing, as a peti­tion on his behalf by The Innocence Project had col­lect­ed more than 600,000 sig­na­tures by March 26, 2021 and social media cam­paigns sup­port­ing his cause con­tin­ue to attract increas­ing atten­tion worldwide.

Policy Issues

Victims' Families

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Clemency

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New Voices

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Jan 22, 2020

Corrections Personnel, Victims’ Families, Jurors Urge Clemency for Tennessee Death-Row Lifesaver”

Saying that Nicholas Sutton has gone from a life-tak­er to a life-saver,” lawyers for the Tennessee death-row pris­on­er filed an appli­ca­tion for clemen­cy with Governor Bill Lee on January 14, 2020. The clemen­cy appli­ca­tion, which requests that Lee com­mute Sutton’s sen­tence to life with­out parole, con­tained affi­davits of sup­port from sev­en Tennessee cor­rec­tion­al offi­cials, mem­bers of the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies, and five of the jurors in the case.

Executions

Lethal Injection

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Jan 04, 2023

Report: Tennessee Repeatedly Violated Execution Protocol Since 2018

An inde­pen­dent inves­ti­ga­tion into Tennessees exe­cu­tion prac­tices has found that the state repeat­ed­ly failed to fol­low its own pro­to­cols in per­form­ing sev­en exe­cu­tions and prepar­ing for an eighth between 2018 and 2022. Governor Bill Lee (pic­tured) com­mis­sioned the inves­ti­ga­tion in May 2022, short­ly after he called off the exe­cu­tion of Oscar Smith “[d]ue to an over­sight in prepa­ra­tion for lethal injec­tion.” The report, which was pub­licly released on December 28, 2022, found that the same over­sight that occurred in the lead­up to Smith’s exe­cu­tion – fail­ure to test the lethal-injection…

Facts & Research

Crimes Punishable by Death

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Recent Legislative Activity

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United States Supreme Court

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May 17, 2024

Tennessee Authorizes Death Penalty for Child Sexual Assault in Direct Challenge to Supreme Court Precedent

On May 9, Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee signed a bill autho­riz­ing the death penal­ty for aggra­vat­ed rape of a child, fol­low­ing Florida’s pas­sage of a sim­i­lar law last year. Both laws con­tra­dict long­stand­ing Supreme Court prece­dent hold­ing the death penal­ty uncon­sti­tu­tion­al for non-homi­cide crimes. Tennessee’s law takes effect on July 1. The state has had a death penal­ty mora­to­ri­um in place since May 2022 after Governor Lee learned that state offi­cials had failed to test exe­cu­tion drugs for bac­te­r­i­al con­t­a­m­i­na­tion; he ordered a sub­se­quent inde­pen­dent inves­ti­ga­tion which found that…

Executions

Executions Overview

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Lethal Injection

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Jun 23, 2022

Tennessee Executions Could Be on Hold for Years Following Independent Investigation, Anticipated Court Challenges

Tennessee exe­cu­tions could be on hold for years, as the state con­ducts an inde­pen­dent inves­ti­ga­tion into wide­spread non-com­pli­ance with its exe­cu­tion pro­to­col and lit­i­gates the con­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty of revi­sions expect­ed to be made to its exe­cu­tion pro­ce­dures. The antic­i­pat­ed delay, first report­ed by the Associated Press June 13, 2022, is a like­ly by-prod­uct of a deci­sion by Governor Bill Lee to can­cel all exe­cu­tions sched­uled in the state for the remain­der of 2022 and an agree­ment entered into by the Tennessee Attorney General’s office in on-going lit­i­ga­tion over the state’s execution…

Executions

Executions Overview

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Botched Executions

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Lethal Injection

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Jan 17, 2023

Tennessee Gov. Says No Death Warrants Until Execution Protocol Problems Fixed

Tennessee will not resume exe­cu­tions until it fix­es sys­temic prob­lems with the admin­is­tra­tion of its exe­cu­tion pro­to­col, Governor Bill Lee has announced. It’s a very impor­tant issue that has to be done cor­rect­ly,” Lee told reporters on January 5, 2023. And we will take the time to fix the pro­to­col and to make cer­tain that we don’t move for­ward until everything’s in place.”

Policy Issues

Secrecy

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Upcoming Executions

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May 03, 2022

Tennessee Governor Halts Executions Scheduled for 2022 to Conduct Review of Execution Protocol Oversight’

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (pic­tured) has paused all exe­cu­tions sched­uled for 2022 and called for an inde­pen­dent review” of the state’s exe­cu­tion pro­to­col to address a tech­ni­cal over­sight” that led him to halt Oscar Franklin Smiths exe­cu­tion less than a half-hour before it was sched­uled to be car­ried out on April 212022.