Expert to study mental disability claim of death row inmate

Pervis Payne
Posted at 8:16 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 21:16:11-04

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee judge has ruled that an expert hired by a state prosecutors’ office can conduct a mental evaluation of a Tennessee death row inmate who claims he is intellectually disabled and should not be executed.

Lawyers for Pervis Payne filed a petition in May asking a judge to declare that he cannot be executed in the killings of a mother and daughter in 1987 because he is intellectually disabled.

The move came one day after Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill making retroactive Tennessee’s law that prohibits the execution of the intellectually disabled.