14 Women Have Been Executed In The United States Since 1976
Since the Supreme Court has lifted the ban on capital punishment in 1976, 14 women have been executed.
Last month marked the most recent. Suzanne Basso, 59, underwent lethal injection in Texas for the torture and killing of a mentally impaired man she lured to the state with the promise of marriage. Since 1903, more than 50 women have been executed in the country. By comparison, since 1976, almost 1,400 men have been put to death.
Here is the full list of the women in the United States who have paid the ultimate price for their crimes.
14 – Suzanne Basso
New York woman Suzanne Basso lured a mentally impaired man to Texas with promises of marrying him, only to savagely kill him. The 59-year-old was executed Feb 5, 2013, after she and a group tortured and killed him. The victim, 59-year-old Louis “Buddy” Musso, was kicked and beaten with belts, baseball bats, steel-toed boots, hands and feet, according to The Guardian. His body was found in a ditch, washed with bleach and scoured with a wire brush. Bruises and cigarette burns were found covering his back. Basso was killed through lethal injection.
13 – Kimberly McCarthy
Kimberly McCarthy marked the 500th execution in Texas since it resumed capital punishment in 1982. McCarthy, 52, was a former nursing home therapist who became addicted to crack cocaine. She was executed June 26, 2013 for the 1997 robbery, beating, and fatal stabbing of a retired college psychology professor, Dorothy Booth. “This is not a loss,” McCarthy said in a final statement. “This is a win. You know where I’m going. I’m going home to be with Jesus. Keep the faith. I love you all.
12 – Teresa Lewis
Teresa Lewis was a borderline mentally retarded woman who prosecutors said “masterminded” the murder of her husband and stepson to collect a $350,000 life insurance policy. One of two men the 41-year-old Virginian woman hired to carry out the 2002 murder said he talked her into doing it. Matthew Shallenberger admitted in a letter that he had deliberately manipulated the woman into killing her family because he needed money. “I met Teresa at the Walmart in Danville, VA. From the moment I met her I knew she was someone who could be easily manipulated,” Shallenberger wrote. “Killing Julian and Charles Lewis was entirely my idea. I needed money, and Teresa was an easy target.” The men who carried out the murder received life sentences, but Lewis was executed by lethal injection on Sept. 23, 2010.
11 – Frances Newton
Frances Newton claimed innocence until her death, saying her husband and two children were killed by a drug dealer who her husband owed money to, according to Chron News. Prosecutors, however, said the 40-year-old Texas woman killed her husband and kids for their $100,000 life insurance benefits in 1987. Her husband was 23, her children, 7 years old and 21 months old.
10 – Aileen Wuornos
Serial killer Aileen Wuornos was executed in Florida on May 10, 2002 for the murder of six men in 1991. She confessed to the murder of a seventh, but the body was never found, News Herald reported. In an interview with a reporter the day before her execution, 52-year-old Wuornos said she killed the men out of self-defense. “I was a hitchhiking hooker!” she shouted. “I’d shoot the guy if I ran into…physical trouble.” She went on to say she was not scared about her death. “God is going to be there,” she said. “Jesus Christ is going to be there. All the angels. I think it’s going to be like Star Trek, they’re going to beam me up to another planet or whatever.” Wuornos claimed she was treated unfairly by investigators, who used “sonic pressure” on her head to confuse and disorient her. She went on to claim that the world will be “nuked in the end. 2019, a rock’s supposed to hit you anyhow, you’re all gonna get nuked.” On the killing of the seven men, Wuornos said simply: “Oh well.” She was executed by lethal injection.
9 – Lynda Lyon Block
Lynda Block was the first woman in Alabama to be executed since 1954. Block, 54, and her husband and 9-year-old son were on the run for failing to appear for a domestic battery charge when she gunned down an officer. After the couple got pulled over by an officer, her husband George Sibley Jr. fired on Sgt. Roger Lamar Motley. As Motley engaged in the gun fire, Block pulled out a gun of her own, snuck up behind the officer, and shot him dead. Both she and her husband were executed, Block by electric chair in 2002 and her husband in 2005. The woman waived her appeals and refused a last meal. No family members ever visited Block, and Juanita Motley — wife of the slain officer – remarked at the execution that she “felt very sorry for [Block]. It must have been a very lonely time that she spent in prison.”
8 – Lois Nadean Smith
Lois Nadean Smith, a 61-year-old Oklahoma mother, killed her son’s 21-year-old former girlfriend in 1982. Mother and son said they thought the woman was trying to arrange the son’s murder. According to Clark County Prosecutors:
“Smith choked Baillee and stabbed her in the throat as they drove to the home of Smith’s ex-husband in Gans. At the house, Smith forced Baillee to sit in a recliner and taunted her with a pistol, finally firing several shots. Baillee fell to the floor, and while her son reloaded the pistol, Smith laughed and jumped on Baillee’s neck. She then fired four shots into Baillee’s chest and two to the back of her head. An autopsy revealed nine gunshot wounds to Baillee’s body.”
Smith was executed via lethal injection on Dec. 4, 2011.
7 – Marilyn Kay Plantz
Marilyn Plantz was put to death May 1, 2001, for being an accomplice to the murder of her husband by her lover in an effort to collect insurance money. The 40-year-old Oklahoma woman was a Sunday school teacher who had raised two children with her husband. When her lover, 29-year-old William Branson, beat Plantz’s husband to death with a baseball bat in 1988, the woman remarked that they should ”burn the body,”NewsOK reported.
6 – Wanda Jean Allen
Wanda Jean Allen, a 41-year-old Oklahoma resident, was the first black woman to be executed in the U.S. since 1954. She was convicted of killing her lesbian lover, Gloria Leathers, whom she met in prison. Prior to killing Leathers, Allen was incarcerated forfatally shooting a childhood friend in 1981, the Associated Press reported. She was executed via lethal injection Jan. 11, 2001.
5 – Christina Marie Riggs
Arkansas woman Christine Riggs was put to death in 2000 for the killing of her two young children in 1997. The 28-year-old former nurse said her depression was what caused her to smother her son and daughter, ages 5 and 2, with a pillow. The New York Times reported that Riggs then tried to kill herself with potassium chloride. Oddly enough, it was potassium chloride that ended up being one of three drugs the state used in her lethal injection execution.
4 – Betty Lou Beets
Betty Lou Beets was convicted of killing her husband for insurance money and was dubbed “The Black Widow.” The Texas woman murdered her fifth husband in 1983, but said it was because he beat her. She was also charged with killing her fourth husband, and shooting and wounding her second husband. The bodies of her two previous husbands were found buried outside her mobile home, CBS News reported. Beets’ own children testified against her, and she was finally executed Feb. 24, 2000 at the age of 62.
3 – Judy Buenoano
Judy Buenoano, much like Betty Lou Beets, was known as the “Black Widow” for her cruel crimes. The Florida woman killed her Vietnam veteran husband with arsenic, drowned her paralyzed son in 1980, and attempted to firebomb her boyfriend in 1983. Before her conviction, Buenoano collected more than $250,000 in life insurance money from her victims. When she was executed via electric chair in 1998 at the age of 54, The Orlando Sentinel reported that she looked “small, scared” and was shaking. She was the first woman executed in the state in 150 years, and the first to die in an electric chair.
2 – Karla Faye Tucker
Karla Tucker and an accomplice killed two people with a pickaxe. Fifteen years later, in 1998, she became the first woman executed in Texas since the Civil War. The 38-year-old woman had become a born-again Christian in the ensuing years. Then Gov. George W. Bush declined intervening to stop her execution, though her lawyers argued that she deserved the chance to plead for her life, CNN reported.
1 – Velma Barfield
In the last moments of her life, Velma Barfield apologized for “all the hurt” she had caused. The North Carolina woman was convicted for lacing her husband’s beer with poison and later confessed to also poisoning her mother and two elderly people in her care, according to The New York Times. On Nov. 3, 1984, the 52-year-old woman became the first woman executed in 22 years, receiving a lethal injection of Procuronium bromide, a muscle relaxant.
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Re: 14 Women Have Been Executed In The United States Since 1976
This is very interesting and I remember just about every one of them to some degree.
Re: 14 Women Have Been Executed In The United States Since 1976