Updated on Nov. 23, 2021 at 11:38 a.m. ET: Today, the Shelby County Criminal Court formally set aside the death sentence of Pervis Payne days after the Shelby County district attorney conceded that Mr. Payne is a person with intellectual disability and therefore cannot be executed. The result of the D.A.’s concession is that Mr. Payne will need to be re-sentenced. A re-sentencing hearing will take place at a later date.
Today, the Shelby County District Attorney conceded that Pervis Payne is a person with an intellectual disability, and thus cannot be executed.
Kelley Henry, Pervis Payne’s Attorney, made the following statement:
“As a person with intellectual disability, Pervis Payne cannot be executed under our Constitution. We are grateful to the Tennessee legislature, under Rep. G.A. Hardaway’s leadership, for passing a new law to allow Mr. Payne to present evidence of his intellectual disability in court, and to Governor Lee for signing the bill into law. The Shelby County District Attorney was right to drop its request for a hearing on Mr. Payne’s intellectual disability. The D.A.’s concession will avoid years of needless litigation.
“We look forward to Mr. Payne’s resentencing hearing. This is some measure of justice for Mr. Payne and his family, but our fight for full exoneration of this innocent man will continue.”
– Kelley Henry, Pervis Payne’s Attorney
– November 18, 2021