Another Tennessee inmate seeks execution delay amid virus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Another death row inmate in Tennessee is seeking a delay in his execution date this year due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

Attorneys for 59-year-old Harold Nichols last week asked the Tennessee Supreme Court to reschedule his Aug. 4 execution. The filing says the COVID-19 health crisis creates a dangerous environment for carrying out an execution and prevents necessary work and preparation to apply for clemency and pursue court challenges.

The state Supreme Court previously delayed inmate Oscar Smith’s execution from June to February due to the coronavirus. Byron Black has also requested that the state Supreme Court reschedule his Oct. 8 execution. Another execution currently remains scheduled in Tennessee this year: Pervis Payne on Dec. 3.

Nichols was convicted of rape and first-degree felony murder in the 1988 death of Karen Pulley in Hamilton County.

Texas has already delayed six executions due to the outbreak.

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