16 March 2022 :
Nashville DA Concedes Byron Black Is Intellectually Disabled and Ineligible for Execution
Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk is asking a Tennessee trial court to vacate the death sentence imposed on Byron Black, now 65, Black, agreeing that the man, who is scheduled to be executed in August 2022, is intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible to be executed.
In a pleading filed in the Davidson County Criminal Court on March 9, 2022, Funk wrote that two mental health experts historically relied upon by Tennessee prosecutors in death-penalty cases had concluded that Black met the clinical criteria for intellectual disability. Funk also agreed with Black’s lawyers that a prior ruling in 2004 that denied his claim of intellectual disability was not binding in the current proceedings because it applied an unconstitutional definition of intellectual disability.
In addition to his intellectual disability, Black suffers from brain damage and schizophrenia, as a result of which, his lawyers argue, he cannot understand his execution or the reasons for it.
Black was convicted in Davidson County of murdering his girlfriend Angela Clay, 29, and her daughters Latoya, 9, and Lakesha, 6, at their home in April 1988. On Black’s case see also HoC December 15, 2011.