Tennessee Lawmakers Pass Bill to Stop Executions of Those with Intellectual Disability

Apr. 27, 2021 | Lawmakers in the Tennessee House and Senate voted overwhelmingly on Apr. 26 in favor of legislation to prevent the execution of people with intellectual disability. Both chambers are controlled by a GOP supermajority.

The bill would allow those on the state’s death row to petition the trial court for a determination of whether they are ineligible for the death penalty due to the presence of an intellectual disability.

READ MORE: “Bill passes to stop executions of intellectually disabled” via Associated Press

The passage of the legislation will play a role in the high-profile case of Pervis Payne, who, in addition to having an intellectual disability, holds a strong innocence claim for the crime for which he was sentenced to death.

The bill now moves to Governor Bill Lee’s desk to be signed into state law. 


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