MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee judge has ruled that an expert hired by a state prosecutors’ office can conduct a mental evaluation of a Tennessee death row inmate who claims he is intellectually disabled and should not be executed. Lawyers for Pervis Payne filed a petition in May asking a judge to declare that he cannot be executed in the killings of a mother and daughter in 1987 because he is intellectually disabled. The move came one day after Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill making retroactive Tennessee’s law that prohibits the execution of the intellectually disabled.
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