Basso executed for 1998 murder
Texas executes 14th woman
Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 22:02
Suzanne Margaret Basso, 59, was executed Wednesday after 15 years on death row for the kidnapping and murder of Louis “Buddy” Musso in 1998.
Winston Cochran, Basso’s attorney, filed an appeal stating that Basso was not mentally competent to face execution and that she suffered from delusions. The appeal was denied Wednesday.
Basso was only the 14th woman to be executed by Texas, a state where more than 500 convicts have been executed since 1976.
According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Basso lured Musso, a 59-year-old mentally disabled man, from his home in New Jersey with false promises to marry him. The report said she and five co-defendants then killed Musso in hopes of gaining the proceeds from his insurance policy.
Basso led the group, which included her son, and encouraged them to repeatedly beat Musso with baseball bats, belts, steel-toed boots, hands and feet.
According to the New York Daily News, court documents showed that Musso was abused days before his body was discovered. He was washed in a bleach and pine cleaner solution then scrubbed with a wire brush. Basso then dumped his body on the side of the road in a suburb of Houston where he was later found by a jogger.
Several protesters stood outside of Huntsville’s Walls Unit on Wednesday hoping for a stay of execution.
Ellis Ansari, a protester and member of the Texas Death Penalty Abolitionist Movement, said the death penalty is discriminative.
“The death penalty targets poor people, people who don’t have enough money to hire a bonafide attorney, mostly people of color,” Ansari said.
Just last month, controversy sparked after the execution of Mexican national Edgar Tamayo who was put to death for the 1994 murder of Houston police officer Guy Gaddis. Lawyers for Tamayo claim that their client was denied access to his consulate, which is required by a treaty between Mexico and the United States. Despite a final appeal for Tamayo’s life, he was executed three hours after the scheduled time.
The next Texas execution is scheduled for Ray Jasper, who was convicted of murder, on March 19.