A woman convicted of torturing and killing a mentally impaired man she lured to Texas with the promise of marriage has been put to death in a rare execution of a female prisoner.
The lethal injection of Suzanne Basso, 59, made her only the 14th woman executed in the United States since the Supreme Court in 1976 allowed capital punishment to resume. Almost 1,400 men have been put to death during that time.
Basso told a warden, "No sir", when asked to make a final statement on Wednesday evening. She appeared to be holding back tears, then smiled at two friends watching through a nearby window. She mouthed a brief word to them and nodded.
As the drug took effect, she began to snore.
Basso was pronounced dead at 11 minutes after the lethal dose of pentobarbital began.
She was sentenced to die for the 1998 slaying of 59-year-old Louis "Buddy" Musso, whose battered and lacerated body, washed with bleach and scoured with a wire brush, was found in a ditch outside of Houston. Prosecutors said Basso had made herself the beneficiary of Musso's insurance policies and took over his Social Security benefits after luring him from New Jersey.
The execution came about an hour after the Supreme Court rejected a last-day appeal from Basso's attorney who argued she was not mentally competent.
About 60 women are on death row in the US.