CNA Staff, Nov 11, 2020 / 11:30 am
The governor of Tennessee has delayed the execution of an intellectually disabled man due to the coronavirus pandemic. The execution of Pervis Payne was scheduled for December 3. It is now set for April 9, 2021.
The bishops of Tennessee have repeatedly opposed the administration of the death penalty in the state and have called on Gov. Bill Lee (R) to halt the execution.
Gov. Lee posted a brief statement on his website on November 6, saying that he is “granting Pervis Payne a temporary reprieve from execution until April 9, 2021, due to the challenges and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
This is the second delay of Payne’s execution due to coronavirus. He was previously scheduled to be executed in April of this year, but the date was moved because of concerns about bringing observers and family members into the state’s execution chamber. Payne was convicted of a double murder in 1988 and sentenced to death. He maintains his innocence and says he was a bystander.