Texas Executes Women’s Death Row Inmate

A women’s death row inmate convicted of the torture-slaying of a mentally impaired man 15 years ago was executed Wednesday evening.

Suzanne Basso (Texas prison photo)

HUNTSVILLE (February 5, 2014) Suzanne Basso, 59, received a lethal injection just after 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Texas death chamber in Huntsville for the 1998 torture-slaying of a mentally impaired man outside of Houston.

Basso, who was held on women’s death row in Gatesville, was convicted of capital murder in the death in 1998 of Louis Musso, 59, a mentally impaired man in Harris County who was beaten with belts, baseball bats and hands and kicked with steel-toed boots at his home in Jacinto City, just east of Houston.

He was also bathed in a solution of beach and pine cleaner and scrubbed with a wire brush.

His body was unrecognizable after the attack, authorities said.

Basso led the group of six attackers, records show.

The motive for the murder was an insurance policy in which she was named the beneficiary.

Evidence showed she had promised to marry Musso, convincing him to leave family and friends in New Jersey and moving to Texas.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Basso’s appeal about an hour before the scheduled execution.

Her attorney argued that she was mentally incompetent for execution and that Texas statute covering competency was unconstitutional.

Basso, who was paralyzed from the chest down as the result of what her attorney said was a degenerative condition, was the fifth woman executed in Texas since the Supreme Court in 1976 allowed capital punishment to resume.

Nationwide only 15 women have been executed since 1976, compared to almost 1,400 men.

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