Pervis Payne To Be Taken Off Tennessee Death Row

Pervis Payne, a Black man with an intellectual disability has been on Tennessee’s death row for more than 30 years
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Photos: PervisPayne.org\Philip Van Zandt

Pervis Payne, a Black man with an intellectual disability has been on Tennessee’s death row for more than 30 years despite his strong claims of innocence.

The State had been disputing his claim of an intellectual disability, but late yesterday, the Shelby County District Attorney finally conceded that Pervis Payne is a person with an intellectual disability, and that he cannot be executed. He will soon be removed from death row.

Kelley Henry, Pervis’ attorney, made the following statement:

“As a person with an intellectual disability, Pervis Payne cannot be executed under our Constitution. We are grateful to the Tennessee legislature, under Rep. G.A. Hardaway’s leadership, for passing a new law to allow Mr. Payne to present evidence of his intellectual disability in court, and to Governor Lee for signing the bill into law. The Shelby County District Attorney was right to drop its request for a hearing on Mr. Payne’s intellectual disability. The D.A.’s concession will avoid years of needless litigation.

“We look forward to Mr. Payne’s resentencing hearing. This is some measure of justice for Mr. Payne and his family, but our fight for full exoneration of this innocent man will continue.”

Learn more about Pervis’ case.

www.innocenceproject.org

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