TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jul 22, 2020

The Innocence Project today filed a petition with the Shelby County Criminal Court for post-conviction DNA testing on behalf of Pervis Payne, a Tennessee death row inmate with an intellectual disability. Payne, who has maintained his innocence for more than 30 years, was convicted of attacking and killing Charisse Christopher and her two-year-old daughter, and non-fatally stabbing her four-year-old son. At the end of 2019, Payne’s attorneys found “hidden evidence” — including a comforter, sheets and pillow with blood stains — at the Shelby County Criminal Court clerk’s office. The lawyers argue the state withheld the items and never tested them for DNA. Payne is scheduled for execution on Dec. 3.