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Pervis Payne, age 7. Photo courtesy of the Payne family.

Pervis Payne, who has an intellectual disability, remains on death row

Pervis Payne has maintained his innocence for more than 30 years. Yet, despite having no prior criminal record and living with an intellectual disability, he had an execution date of Dec. 2, 2020 in Tennessee and was given a temporary reprieve until April 9, 2021.

On Jan. 19, DNA testing of crime scene evidence results “are consistent with Pervis Payne’s long-standing claim of innocence,” according to his legal team. “Male DNA from an unknown third party was found on key evidence including the murder weapon, but unfortunately, is too degraded to identify an alternate suspect via the FBI’s database.”

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