Tenn. lawmakers pass bill to stop executions of intellectually disabled
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers have passed legislation designed to prevent death row inmates with an intellectual disability from being executed.
The GOP-supermajority House and Senate passed the bill by wide margins Monday.
Advocates point to inmate Pervis Payne, who attorneys call intellectually disabled as he awaits an execution date. Payne was sentenced to death in the 1987 fatal stabbings of Charisse Christopher and her 2-year-old daughter.
In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that executing a person with an intellectual disability is unconstitutional.
However, Tennessee’s Supreme Court later determined there was no procedure for death row inmates to reopen their cases to explore intellectual disability claims.