Texas Woman Set For Execution Today Over Murder Of Disabled Man
A woman from Texas will become just the 14th female since 1976 to be executed in the U.S. when she receives a lethal injection today. Suzanne Basso, 59, was sentenced to death nearly 15 years ago for her 1998 murder of a disabled man, Louis “Buddy” Musso, who she killed to try and benefit from his life insurance. Basso and five others burned him with cigarettes, then beat him with belts and baseball bats before dumping his body in a roadside ditch in Houston.
However, her execution has naturally faced some protest. Basso is now confined to a wheelchair and shows many signs of mental illness, so some also believe her execution is unethical. “The primary criterion for imposing the death penalty in Texas is that the defendant is deemed to be a ‘future danger’ to society,” said Richard Dieter of the Death Penalty Information Center. “It is hard to see how this 60-year-old woman, confined to a wheelchair, would be a threat to society if she remained in prison for the rest of her life. Texas has many far more dangerous criminals serving time in prison. Executing Suzanne Basso appears both unnecessary and unjustified.”
The last woman to be put to death in the United States was Kimberly McCarthy, 52, who was executed in Texas in June last year for the murder of an elderly woman. The 14 women to be executed since 1976, including Basso, make up just over one percent of the 1,366 executions carried out since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976.