TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Kate Prince on Jun 8, 2021

A Tennessee court will soon decide whether it will set an execution date for Christa Pike, one of the youngest women ever sentenced to death and the only woman on the state’s death row, the Nashville Scene reports. Pike’s attorneys yesterday filed arguments against scheduling their client’s execution, clearing the way for the court to make the final decision. Pike was 19 when she was sentenced to death in 1996 for the murder of Colleen Slemmer during a youth job-training program in Knoxville both women were attending. Her attorneys argue that a history of mental illness, brain damage, abuse and multiple rapes led Pike to becoming the “the teenager who committed a terrible crime.” State and federal governments have executed only 17 women since 1976. If the court decides to set a date, Pike would be the first female executed in Tennessee in roughly 200 years.