Entries tagged with “Pervis Payne

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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Race

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Upcoming Executions

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Sep 14, 2020

Black Legislators, Legal Associations, Faith Leaders, and Community Groups Call for DNA Testing/​Intellectual Disability Hearing that Could Take Pervis Payne Off Tennessee’s Death Row

Leaders in the Tennessee African-American com­mu­ni­ty are urg­ing Governor Bill Lee and the state and fed­er­al courts to halt the exe­cu­tion of a Black death-row pris­on­er who may be both inno­cent and intel­lec­tu­al­ly dis­abled and who has been denied access to the courts to review those claims.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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Sep 21, 2020

Capital Case Roundup — Death Penalty Court Decisions the Week of September 142020

NEWS (9/​17/​20) — Florida: The Florida Supreme Court has denied post-con­vic­tion relief to Ken Lott, retroac­tive­ly apply­ing its new rule that a death sen­tence imposed under the state’s uncon­sti­tu­tion­al judi­cial fact-find­ing statute did not vio­late Lott’s right to a jury tri­al because the jury had unan­i­mous­ly found an aggra­vat­ing cir­cum­stance. The court held that Lott’s Sixth Amendment right to a jury tri­al in his cap­i­tal sen­tenc­ing pro­ceed­ing extend­ed only to the deter­mi­na­tion of whether the defen­dant was eli­gi­ble for the death penal­ty, not whether aggra­vat­ing cir­cum­stances out­weighed rea­sons to spare…

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

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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Aug 31, 2023

Court Ruling Makes Formerly Death-Sentenced Pervis Payne Eligible for Parole in Four Years

On August 30, 2023, the Tennessee Criminal Court of Appeals affirmed a low­er court’s rul­ing that for­mer­ly death-sen­tenced pris­on­er Pervis Payne can serve his two life sen­tences con­cur­rent­ly, mak­ing him eli­gi­ble to apply for parole in less than four years. Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Paula Skahan resen­tenced Mr. Payne in 2022 to two life sen­tences with the pos­si­bil­i­ty of parole after pros­e­cu­tors con­ced­ed that they could not dis­prove Mr. Payne’s claim that he is intel­lec­tu­al­ly dis­abled and there­fore inel­i­gi­ble for the death penal­ty. The state appealed Judge Skahan’s ruling,…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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Race

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Jan 22, 2021

Defense Lawyers Say DNA Tests Point to Unknown Male’ as Likely Killer in Tennessee Death-Row Prisoner Pervis Payne’s Case

Lawyers for Tennessee death-row pris­on­er Pervis Payne say DNA test­ing in his 30-year-old case points to an unknown male” and excludes Payne as the per­son who stabbed to death Charisse Christopher and her 2‑year-old daugh­ter, Lacie, and seri­ous­ly wound­ed her 3‑year-old son, Nicholas.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Race

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Upcoming Executions

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Jul 24, 2020

Defense Seeks DNA Testing for Pervis Payne, Alleging Racism, Hidden Evidence, and Intellectual Disability Led to Wrongful Conviction

The Innocence Project and fed­er­al defend­ers have filed a motion in a Shelby County, Tennessee tri­al court seek­ing DNA test­ing of phys­i­cal evi­dence hid­den by pros­e­cu­tors for 30 years that they believe will exon­er­ate death-row pris­on­er Pervis Payne (pic­tured). Payne, who is sched­uled to be exe­cut­ed on December 3, 2020, has stead­fast­ly denied com­mit­ting the crime. The lawyers argue that his con­vic­tion and death sen­tence are the com­bined prod­uct of racial bias by a prosecutor’s office with an exten­sive his­to­ry of mis­con­duct and Payne’s intel­lec­tu­al disability.

Policy Issues

Intellectual Disability

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Race

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DPIC Reports

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Upcoming Executions

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Foreign Nationals

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Federal Death Penalty

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Dec 04, 2020

DPIC Analysis — Intellectually Disabled Defendants of Color, Foreign Nationals Disproportionately Subject to the Death Penalty

Defendants of col­or and for­eign nation­als who are intel­lec­tu­al­ly dis­abled are dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly like­ly to be sen­tenced to death, a Death Penalty Information Center analy­sis of cas­es involv­ing intel­lec­tu­al­ly dis­abled defen­dants suggests.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Race

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May 06, 2020

In Case Permeated with Race Bias, Tennessee Plans to Execute Possibly Innocent and Intellectually Disabled Black Man in Murder of White Woman

Pervis Payne (pic­tured) was young, black, and, he says, in the wrong place at the wrong time. The son of a min­is­ter, he is on death row in Tennessee, con­vict­ed of the hor­rif­ic mur­ders of a white woman and her two-year-old daugh­ter and the stab­bing of her three-year-old son in 1987. His case, pro­filed by Steven Hale in The Appeal on April 29, 2020, fea­tures evi­dence of inno­cence, intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty, pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al mis­con­duct, and racial stereo­typ­ing. Payne is sched­uled to be exe­cut­ed on December 32020.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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Feb 02, 2022

Judge Resentences Pervis Payne to Concurrent Life Terms, Making Him Eligible for Parole in Five Years After 34 Years on Tennessee’s Death Row

A Memphis judge has resentenced Pervis Payne to two con­cur­rent life sen­tences, mak­ing the for­mer Tennessee death-row pris­on­er who has long main­tained his inno­cence eli­gi­ble to apply for parole in five years. The sen­tenc­ing order, issued by Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Paula Skahan on January 31, 2022, fol­lows decades of lit­i­ga­tion over whether Payne, who is intel­lec­tu­al­ly dis­abled, was even sub­ject to the death penalty.

Policy Issues

Intellectual Disability

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Recent Legislative Activity

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Apr 15, 2021

NEWS BRIEF — Tennessee Legislative Committees Approve Intellectual Disability Bill

On April 14, 2021, com­mit­tees in both cham­bers of the Tennessee leg­is­la­ture vot­ed to advance bills that would cre­ate a legal mech­a­nism for death-row pris­on­ers to chal­lenge their death sen­tences on the grounds that they have intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty. The leg­is­la­tion would close a loop­hole in Tennessee law that denies pris­on­ers whose con­vic­tions became final before the U.S. Supreme Court barred the exe­cu­tion of indi­vid­u­als with intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty any oppor­tu­ni­ty to present their claims of intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty to the Tennessee courts. House Bill 1026 passed the Criminal Justice Committee by a voice…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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Recent Legislative Activity

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May 13, 2021

Pervis Payne Petitions to Vacate His Death Sentence Under New Tennessee Intellectual Disability Law

One day after Governor Bill Lee signed a bill cur­ing a defect in Tennessee law that had pre­vent­ed death-row pris­on­ers from chal­leng­ing their death sen­tences on the basis of intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty, Pervis Payne’s (pic­tured) lawyers asked a Memphis tri­al court to vacate his death sentence.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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Oct 20, 2021

Pervis Payne Seeks Hearing on Whether Shelby County Prosecutors Should be Recused From His Case Based on Trial Prosecutor’s Possible Conflict of Interest

Alleging that Shelby County Assistant District Attorney General Stephen Jones may have been rep­re­sent­ing the pros­e­cu­tion in his case while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly serv­ing as a cap­i­tal case staff attor­ney assist­ing the county’s judges, Tennessee death-row pris­on­er Pervis Payne (pic­tured) has moved to dis­qual­i­fy the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office from fur­ther par­tic­i­pa­tion in his case. Payne is await­ing a sched­uled December 13, 2021 court hear­ing to deter­mine whether he is inel­i­gi­ble for the death penal­ty because of intel­lec­tu­al disability.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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Aug 09, 2022

Shelby County Voters Oust Prosecutor Who Sought to Execute Pervis Payne

Tennessee vot­ers have issued a stun­ning rebuke to con­tro­ver­sial Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich (pic­tured), oust­ing her from office after an eleven-year tenure marred by charges of racism and misconduct.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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Race

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New Voices

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Jul 19, 2021

Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Descendants of Ida B. Wells Call for Freedom for Pervis Payne

As the first court hear­ing on Pervis Paynes claim that his death sen­tence must be vacat­ed because of his intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty was about to get under­way, promi­nent civ­il rights lead­ers and rel­a­tives of a civ­il rights icon added their voic­es to efforts to free the Tennessee death-row pris­on­er, who has con­sis­tent­ly assert­ed his innocence.

Policy Issues

Intellectual Disability

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Recent Legislative Activity

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Apr 27, 2021

Tennessee Legislature Passes Bill to Provide Death-Row Prisoners Court Review of Intellectual Disability Claims

The Tennessee state leg­is­la­ture has over­whelm­ing­ly approved and sent to the gov­er­nor a bill that cre­ates a pro­ce­dure by which death-row pris­on­ers can obtain judi­cial review of claims that they are inel­i­gi­ble for the death penal­ty because of intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty. On April 26, 2021, HB 1062 passed the Tennessee House by a vote of 89 – 4 and the Senate by a vote of 28 – 1.