Payne V. Tennessee 501 U.c. 808 ( 1991 )

902 Words Jan 30th, 2015 4 Pages
Payne v. Tennessee 501 U.C. 808 (1991)
Judicial History: Payne was tried and convicted by the Tennessee Trial Court by a jury on two counts of first-degree murder and on one count of assault with intent to murder in the first degree. Payne was then sentenced to death for both murders and 30 years in prison for the assault. Payne appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court asserting that Mary Zvolanek’s testimony was “irrelevant,” and that her testimony violated his rights guaranteed by the 8th amendment as was applied in the cases of Booth. V. Maryland, 482 U.S. 496 (1987), and South Carolina v. Gathers, 490 U.S. 805 (1989); however, the court concluded that Zvolanek’s testimony was “harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.” Following the Court’s decision, Payne appealed to the United States Supreme Court who heard his case.
Facts of Case: The morning and afternoon before the murder, Payne spent his time drinking alcohol and injecting himself with cocaine. Approximately at 3 p.m., Payne went to Charisee’s and her two children’s (Lacie and Nicholas) apartment complex. Payne made sexual advances to Charisse which were not well received. Payne then became violent, and when Charisse screamed, a neighbor heard and called the police. As the first officer arrived to the scene, Payne was seen covered in blood. Payne then struck officer after being asked what occurred and fled. Payne was later located and arrested. Charisse received 84 injuries in total from the knife: 42 were direct knife…
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