Texas has carried out its second execution of 2014, but with a rare case involving a female convict. Suzanne Basso, 59, was executed Wednesday evening in Huntsville by lethal injection. "Basso received the death penalty for the 1998 capital murder of 59-year-old Louis "Buddy" Musso in Harris County," says Robert Hurst, spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). Prosecutors say Basso lured Musso from New Jersey to the Houston area with the promise of marriage, but she convinced five others to help her kill him so she could get his insurance benefits. Musso was beaten and tortured and his battered body found in a ditch near Jacinto City.
The execution was largely uneventful. "Basso had no final statement," says Hurst. "Witnesses to her execution were prosecutors from the Harris County District Attorney's Office and her spiritual advisors." Basso was declared dead at 6:26 p.m., 11 minutes after the lethal dose of pentobarbital began flowing.
The execution came about an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Basso's final appeal, after multiple lower courts did the same thing in recent days. Basso's attorneys claimed she was mentally unfit for execution under capital punishment law because she suffered from delusions. Their appeal further claimed that Texas law regarding mental competency for execution was unconstitutionally flawed. But Harris County prosecutors called her a "heinous killer" and said she "ran the show" in directing Musso's brutal murder. The five others involved in the killing are all serving various prison sentences. Basso is just the fifth woman executed in Texas since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1982.