MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Crowds of people flooded the I Am a Man Plaza downtown Saturday in a rally for justice in the case of Pervis Payne.
Organizers said it’s one of a list of efforts to get the attention of city and state leaders in this case.
“We’re rallying people to focus on a specific issue and Pervis Payne is the face of criminal justice reform,” said Dr. Kevin Brooks with the Lynching Sites Project.
Dr. Brooks was one of many calling out Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee for Payne to not be executed.
“The justice system must work," Brooks said. "We’re concerned about Amy Weirich’s lack of real priority and response to the DNA. The DNA will basically answer everything. We’re also concerned about Governor Bill Lee’s slow response to this report. Did you look at the case and see all the holes?”
Payne is set to be executed on Dec. 3 for the alleged rape and murder of a woman and her two-year-old daughter in June of 1987.
“He was incarcerated and found guilty of a crime that is quite questionable," Brooks said. “Our goal is to raise awareness around this and to organize and mobilize around our communities to demand an act of appeal for clemency to Pervis Payne.”