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My son, Pervis Payne, has spent the last 33 years in prison for a crime I know he did not commit. It has been a long, hard fight for justice, but when I spoke to him recently, he told me that he’s feeling hopeful.
On Monday, thanks to your support, the Tennessee Legislature passed a bipartisan bill to modernize the state’s intellectual disability law and prevent the unconstitutional execution of people with intellectual disabilities like my son, Pervis. Even though the fight isn’t over, this is a blessing!
For the first time in decades, we don’t feel alone — thanks to people like you who have contacted lawmakers in Tennessee, shared Pervis’ story, or signed the petition to demand justice for Pervis. (If you haven’t signed the petition yet, we are less than 300,000 away from 1 million signatures. Can you help us reach our goal by adding your name right now?)
To thank you, Pervis wanted me to share a message directly from him. Please take a few moments to watch it and then share with your family and friends.
Though the passing of this bill in the Tennessee Legislature is a major step toward justice for Pervis and many others, we’re not at the finish line yet. It’s now up to Governor Bill Lee to sign the bill into law — so we’ll keep pushing. Our goal is to build a movement 1 million people strong to free Pervis.
Thank you so much for being part of the effort to get to 1 million supporters for my son. My family, the Innocence Project, and I appreciate your continued support in calling for clemency in my son’s case.
I hope this video message from Pervis will keep you energized in this fight — his words keep us motivated. Please take a moment to watch it and then share with your social networks.
Thank you for giving our family hope that one day Pervis will receive justice.