TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Nov 6, 2020

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee today granted death row inmate Pervis Payne a temporary reprieve due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commercial Appeal reports. Payne's execution was scheduled for Dec. 3. The reprieve will last until April 9, 2021. The paper notes that this delay could also allow time for the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators to potentially pass legislation that would allow a defendant already sentenced to the death penalty to petition the courts for a reprieve based on a claim of intellectual disability. Payne was convicted of the 1987 deaths of Charisse Christopher and her two-year-old daughter. Christopher’s son survived multiple stab wounds. Payne's legal team has been fighting for a delay, as well as full clemency, for months. Read past coverage of those efforts.