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Tennessee judge vacates 2 death sentences for inmate

Pervis Payne now faces two life sentences.
Pervis Payne
Pervis Payne
Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 10:55 AM EST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee judge has vacated two death sentences for a prison inmate convicted of fatally stabbing a mother and daughter more than 30 years ago.

Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Paula Skahan signed an order Tuesday freeing Pervis Payne from death row. The judge took action after Shelby County district attorney Amy Weirich announced that the state will no longer pursue its execution plans after an expert hired by prosecutors could not say that Payne was not intellectually disabled.

Payne now faces two life sentences. He hugged his lawyer and wept before a hearing began in a Memphis court Tuesday.

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