Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: RS2021-867    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 3/26/2021 In control: Metropolitan Council
On agenda: 4/6/2021 Final action: 4/6/2021
Title: A Resolution urging the Tennessee General Assembly to support HB0001/SB1236 and supporting clemency for Pervis Payne, a person living with an intellectual disability.
Sponsors: Zulfat Suara, Tanaka Vercher, Joy Styles, Sharon Hurt, Jennifer Gamble, Ginny Welsch, Freddie OConnell, Emily Benedict, Bob Nash, Brandon Taylor, Angie Henderson, Burkley Allen, Russ Bradford, Tom Cash, Thom Druffel, Erin Evans, Larry Hagar, Gloria Hausser, Bob Mendes, Sean Parker, Delishia Porterfield, Kevin Rhoten, Dave Rosenberg, John Rutherford, Sandra Sepulveda, Colby Sledge, Jeff Syracuse, Kyonzte Toombs, Nancy VanReece, Brett Withers, Zach Young
Title
A Resolution urging the Tennessee General Assembly to support HB0001/SB1236 and supporting clemency for Pervis Payne, a person living with an intellectual disability.
Body
WHEREAS, House Bill 0001/Senate Bill 1236, currently pending before the Tennessee General Assembly, would amend state law to allow a defendant who has been sentenced to the death penalty to petition a trial court to determine whether the defendant is ineligible for the death penalty due to intellectual disability; and
WHEREAS, current law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, prohibits the imposition of a death penalty sentence if it is found that a defendant, at the time of committing first degree murder, had an intellectual disability; and
WHEREAS, in the 2002 case Atkins v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court held that executing a person with intellectual disabilities is unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment, but allowed for a state to create its own definition of "intellectual disability"; and
WHEREAS, in 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed this holding. In Hall v. Florida, the Court determined that a bright-line IQ threshold for determining intellectual disability is unconstitutional; and
WHEREAS, HB001/SB1236 would provide a much-needed update to Tennessee state law to make it consistent with the constitutional requirements outlined by the U.S. Supreme Court; and
WHEREAS, this legislation would further provide a procedural mechanism for individuals with intellectual disability who have been sentenced to death to obtain a determination from a trial court that they are ineligible for the death penalty, which the Tennessee Supreme Court has advised legislators to consider; and
WHEREAS, the American Bar Association has endorsed this legislation, saying it will "ensure that Tennessee provides all defendants facing the ultimate sanction with at least one opportunity to prove they are not eligible for a death sentence because of their intellectual disabili...

Click here for full text