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Tennessee Supreme Court sets two more execution dates for this year

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Posted at 3:19 PM, Feb 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-24 16:33:37-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has set execution dates for two additional death row inmates. In an order released Monday, the court gave Byron Lewis Black an execution date of October 8, 2020 and Pervis T. Payne an execution date of December 3, 2020.

That means there are now four inmates scheduled for executions by the end of 2020. Last month, the court scheduled Oscar Franklin Smith's execution for June 4, and Harold Wayne Nichols' execution for August 4. A fifth inmate, Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman has had his execution date stayed by the court, pending a legal appeal involving a deal struck by Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk and Abdur’Rahman over concerns of a racist prosecutor during his original trial.

One execution has already taken place this year; Nicholas Sutton was executed in the electric chair last week.

The latest inmates to be given execution dates were part of a group of nine inmates that Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery requested the high court to assign execution dates for, saying in his request last year that their court appeals had run out.

Others questioned whether the request for those execution dates – which includes all remaining death row inmates in Davidson County -- was a direct response to the Funk-Abdur’Rahman deal reached last year.

With four executions scheduled, five of the inmates in the states original request still remain without execution dates.

Black was convicted for the 1987 murder of his girlfriend Angela Clay and her two daughters, Latoya and Lakeisha Clay, in Davidson County.

Payne was convicted for the 1987 stabbing murder of Charisse Christopher and her 2-year-old daughter Lacie in Millington, Tennessee.