The Tennessee Supreme Court denied a request today to void a scheduled December execution date of Pervis T. Payne.
Payne’s legal counsel had asked the state’s highest Court to vacate his scheduled execution date of Dec. 12.
Payne argued that the execution date should be voided to await a decision on the U.S. Supreme Court’s hearing of a Kentucky case, Baze v. Rees, on the constitutionality of lethal injection, as well as awaiting the state’s appeal of a federal judge’s order that Tennessee’s lethal injection protocol was unconstitutional.
In a unanimous order today, the Supreme Court cited jurisdictional reasons for its denial of Payne’s request.
“Mr. Payne asks this Court to vacate his execution date to await the final resolution of Baze and Harbison by the federal courts,” the order states. “In effect, he is requesting this Court to grant him a stay of execution pending disposition of federal litigation.
We decline to do so. As we previously have stated, a ‘request for stay of execution in order to litigate claims in a federal court is more appropriately addressed to that court.’”
Payne is sentenced to death for the 1987 double-murder of Charisse Christopher and her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Lacie, which occurred in Shelby County.