Suzanne Basso, who was sentenced to die for the brutal 1998 murder of a mentally ill man, was executed in Texas Wednesday. She was only the 14th woman put to death in the U.S. since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.
Basso declined to make a final statement and took her last breath at 7:26 p.m. EST, 11 minutes after receiving a lethal dose of pentobarbital, the Houston Chronicle reported
The 59-year-old was convicted of the August 1998 murder of Louis "Buddy" Musso, a developmentally challenged man from New Jersey. Basso, a New York native, reportedly lured Musso to Texas under the guise of wanting to marry him. She made herself the beneficiary of his life insurance policies and signed over his Social Security benefits before she and five accomplices beat him to death.
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According to The Associated Press, the attackers "beat the man with a belt, kicked him with heavy boots
, and scrubbed his body, doused in a mixture of chlorine bleach and pine oil disinfectant, with a wire brush" before dumping him on a Harris County road. The official cause of death was a fractured skull, according to the autopsy.
Basso was executed Wednesday after the Supreme Court nixed an 11th hour appeal attempt by her attorneys, who argued she was not mentally fit. Under Texas law, a person sentenced to death must comprehend that they are being executed and understand why, the Chronicle reported.
But the court upheld a previous decision from a state judge who ruled that Basso "had a history of fabricating stories about herself, seeking attention, and manipulating psychological tests," the AP said.
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