Pervis Tyrone Payne v. State of Tennessee

Pervis Tyrone Payne v. State of Tennessee

We granted permission to appeal in this case to determine whether a capital defendant, via a petition for writ of error coram nobis, may obtain a hearing to determine whether he is ineligible to be executed because he is intellectually disabled. The Petitioner, Pervis Tyrone Payne, was convicted in 1988 of two first degree murders, and the jury imposed the death sentence for each murder. In 2001, this Court held that the federal and state constitutions prohibit the execution of individuals who are intellectually disabled. Van Tran v. State, 66 S.W.3d 790, 812 (Tenn. 2001). The Petitioner asserts that he meets the statutory definition of intellectually disabled, but he has not yet been afforded an evidentiary hearing on his claim. In this proceeding, he has sought to establish his right to such a hearing via a claim of error coram nobis. The trial court denied relief without a hearing, and the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed with one judge dissenting. We hold that the Petitioner is not entitled to relief under a claim of error coram nobis. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Authoring Judge: 
Justice Jeffrey S. Bivins
Originating Judge: 
Judge J. Robert Carter, Jr.
Date Filed: 
Thursday, April 7, 2016