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Pervis Payne faces judge on status of intellectual disability case

Pervis Payne in court
Pervis Payne in court(WMC)
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 8:27 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2021 at 1:03 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Death row inmate Pervis Payne faced a judge for another hearing on the status of his intellectual disability case Friday morning.

Support continues to grow for him across the Mid South.

On Thursday, Dr. Charles Steele, the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, joined the campaign to free Payne.

Payne has been on death row for more than 30 years after being convicted in the murder of a Millington mother and her child.

Steele says this campaign to free Payne is about using your voice the same way Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did.

“We go to collaborate. We got to work together,” he said. “Dr. King was here in 1967 and was supposed to come back in ’68. But he was assassinated and the ’68 war came about. Then Dr. King couldn’t come back. He said well let me tell you something young man.. don’t you ever give up.”

The U.S. Supreme Court barred the execution of people with intellectual disabilities.

Payne has been ordered to be evaluated by the state’s medical expert.

The judge says a written ruling on whether or not the medical expert should video tape the evaluation in the coming days.

The next court date is set for August 6 but could be subject to change.

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