Tennessee inmate who claims innocence asks for clemency

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FILE – This file photo provided by Tennessee Department of Correction shows Tennessee death row inmate Pervis Payne. Payne on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, asked the governor to commute his sentence to life in prison, or, at the very least, to postpone his execution until lawmakers can fix a loophole that prevents him from presenting evidence of intellectual disability to avoid execution. (Tennessee Department of Correction via AP, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) β€” A Tennessee death row inmate who has always claimed innocence is asking the governor to commute his sentence to life in prison.

Fifty-three-year-old Pervis Payne is scheduled to die on Dec. 3 for the 1987 stabbing deaths of Charisse Christopher and her 2-year-old daughter.

Payne is Black and told police he was trying to help the victims but panicked when he saw a white policeman and ran away.

A petition sent to Gov. Bill Lee on Monday by Payne’s lawyers asks the governor to at least postpone his execution until lawmakers can fix a loophole that prevents him from presenting evidence of intellectual disability in court.

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