Texas executes female murderer, 14th US woman to die since 1976

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Texas performed a rare execution of a woman on Wednesday, putting to death a prisoner convicted of the brutal murder of a mentally disabled man 15 years ago.

Suzanne Basso, 59, was only the 14th woman executed in the United States in more than three decades, after losing a last-ditch appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

She was pronounced dead at 6.26pm at Huntsville Prison, after lethal drugs flowed into her veins.

The wheelchair-bound killer, who weighed 160kg at the time of her arrest in September 1999, was sentenced to die for the horrific slaying of Louis "Buddy" Musso in 1998, whom she murdered in an attempt to benefit from his life insurance.

Mr Musso was burnt with cigarettes and beaten with belts, baseball bats and hobnailed boots by Basso and five accomplices.

His body, bloodied and battered beyond recognition, was found dumped in a roadside ditch near Houston in August 1998, according to court documents.

Despite a series of appeals that led all the way to the US Supreme Court, Basso's death sentence had been reconfirmed several times.