Texas is set to execute a convicted murderer later today. While that in itself may not be a shock—the Lone Star State earned the dubious honor of putting more inmates to death than any other state last year—what is a surprise is that the death row inmate in question is a woman. Here’s the Houston Chronicle with gender breakdown of executions over the past three-and-a-half decades:
If 59-year-old Suzanne Basso is lethally injected as scheduled, the New York native would be only the 14th woman executed in the U.S. since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976. By comparison, almost 1,400 men have been put to death. Texas, the nation’s busiest death-penalty state, has executed four women and 505 men.
Basso was sentenced to death in 1998 for the brutal murder of a mentally impaired man, Louis “Buddy” Musso, whose body was found beaten, bleached and scoured with wire. A total of six people were convicted in connection with the grisly slaying, but prosecutors sought the death penalty only for Basso, arguing that she was the ring leader.
Basso’s lawyer are expected to file one more appeal before her scheduled execution this evening, according to the Guardian. If the execution does go through as planned, Texas will use the drug pentobarbital, which has a small and highly questionable track record since replacing the more traditional three-drug cocktail that was the method of choice before drug manufacturers banned the use of it for executions.