Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced yesterday he will not intervene in the case of Billy Ray Irick, set to be executed this Thursday (August 9, 2018) for the murder of 7-year-old Paula Dyer in Knox County in 1985.
Haslam said in a statement that even though Irick requested clemency based upon his mental health status at the time the crime was committed, a mental health expert ruled he was competent to stand trial.
Numerous state and federal courts, including the Tennessee Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court, have reviewed and upheld the verdict on 17 different occasions, 11 of which were after additional evidence came to light about Irick’s behavior in the weeks leading up to the murder.
Earlier yesterday, Tennessee’s Supreme Court refused to stay Irick’s execution while the state’s lethal injection protocol continues to be challenged on appeal.
If the execution is done Thursday, Irick would be the first inmate Tennessee has put to death since 2009.