Texas has carried out a rare execution of a woman, putting to death a 59-year-old convicted of the murder of a disabled man 15 years ago.

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

She was pronounced dead at 6.26pm (12.26am Irish time) at Huntsville Prison, after lethal drugs flowed into her veins.

Basso, who was in a wheelchair, was sentenced to death for the murder of Louis "Buddy" Musso in 1998, in an attempt to benefit from his life insurance.

Mr Musso was burned 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.