Pervis Payne, a Black man who was convicted for murder 33 years ago, will be executed in December, despite DNA evidence that could prove his innocence (CNN). While the execution of an intellectually disabled person is unconstitutional, the court didn’t recognize Payne’s disability at the time of his trial (Tennessean). The Innocence Project, a legal organization that works to exonerate the wrongfully convicted, is trying to stop Payne’s execution. As of today, “375 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 21 who served time on death row” (The Innocence Project).
Following the backlash from CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky's recent comments, disability advocates say her remarks weren't an "error" or "bad editing," but the result of how ableist thinking devalues the lives of the chronically ill and disabled people.