Of the 1,365 people executed in the United States between the death penalty's 1976 reinstatement and January 31 of this year, only 13 were women. Today, Texas killed the fourteenth.
Suzanne Basso, 59, was pronounced dead at 7:26 p.m. ET. She was convicted of the 1998 murder of Louis "Buddy" Musso, a mentally challenged man she lured to Texas with the promise of marriage. She then made herself the beneficiary of life insurance policies and social security checks before brutally torturing and killing him.
Basso's attorneys argued that she was not mentally fit to understand what was happening to her, but a judge sided with prosecutors and the Supreme Court rejected her appeal an hour before the execution.
According to the AP, Basso had no final words but "smiled at two friends watching through a nearby window. She mouthed a brief word to them and nodded."
Eleven minutes after the injection of pentobarbital, she was declared dead.
Texas procures its supply of the drug from a compounding pharmacy, as its European manufacturers have banned its use in executions. The drugs have been controversial, as compounding pharmacies are not subject to the same regulations as regular pharmacies. There are concerns that pentobarbital causes prisoners undue and prolonged suffering. One inmate recently put to death with pentobarbital from a compounding pharmacy said "I feel my whole body burning" after he was injected.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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