Ohio man is first executed with lone dose of pentobarbital
Johnnie Baston was convicted of the murder of a Toledo store owner.
March 10th, 2011
12:50 PM ET

Ohio man is first executed with lone dose of pentobarbital

Johnnie Baston on Thursday became the first person in the United States executed with the single-dose drug pentobarbital.

Pentobarbital, a barbiturate that has been used in animal euthanasia and as a mild anesthetic in humans, was used in a U.S. execution for the first time in December, when it was administered as the first drug in a three-drug cocktail used in a lethal injection given to an Oklahoma inmate.

Sodium thiopental is the normal drug used in such lethal injections, but a nationwide shortage of the chemical has forced some states to scramble for possible substitutes.

In 2009, Ohio became the first state to perform an execution with a single drug, using a single dose of sodium thiopental.

Baston was pronounced dead at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Institution in Lucasville, the state Department of Corrections said.

He received the death sentenced for the 1994 murder of Toledo store owner Chong Hoon Mah, a South Korean immigrant who was shot in the head at close range.

“For a long time I didn’t see a lot of value in myself,’’ Baston said Thursday in the death chamber, the Toledo Blade reported. “It wasn’t until this moment, till I had to go through this ordeal, that I have seen so much love from so many people, letters from people all over the world, and even Ohio.’’

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Filed under: Crime • Death Penalty • Ohio
soundoff (464 Responses)
  1. Name*mike

    Burn in Hell.... I hope it hurt the entire time

    March 12, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  2. Name*mike

    Burn in Hell dirtbag.

    March 12, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  3. jim armstrong

    the NFL may not play (the billionaires vs the millionaires), the NBA is full of dillusions ('dream teams, etc), MLB is boring to say the least, no one pays attention to the NHL, (my god they named one team after a disney movie). We need a new sport to watch, one based on historical events, wait............. I HAVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's perfect, have stadiums filled to capacity, the whole ticket scalping racket, hot dogs for 10 bucks, beer for 20 bucks a bottle (you maywant to throw them during the contest).
    PUBLIC EXECUTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The state that comes up with the most inventive and/or gruesome, wins points, at the end of a season, the state with the most points has it's citizens exempt from paying any taxes, and are refunded any taxes they paid during the year.
    The above is meant as sarcasm, bitter sacarasm at that. But i bet the farm that the attendence would be astronomical, it was when they had them before. Its a money maker for sure and cleans out the prisons somewhat.
    BTW johnnie? your family send their love, they sent it via twitter, just before the HIT THE SWITCH ORDER. I hope your ride to hell was as good as that guy you killed's ride to heaven. BELATED BON VOYAGE johnnie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 12, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. april

    Am I the only one who thinks it's weird that we look for polite ways to kill people? I'm not against the death penalty. I think that there are many cases where execution is actually the nicest thing to do for the guy. Some people are just beyond all help. But let's not pretend that there is any nice way to do it. The more we try to be nice about it, the more expensive it gets.

    March 12, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Beenthere

      April you are close to having the right question. I worked many years in the penal system and have listened to the "clients" playing cards and telling their war stories about how they killed and maimed people. Even the duds on death row.

      My belief is that the eye for an eye should be exactly what they get. Those that kidnap bankers, rob their banks then duct tape them to a chair and throw them in the river to drown should get the same. For the mother that got drunk and stabbed both of her children to death to keep them from going with their father, her trip out on an od after her second death penalty was way too easy.

      For the rest of my "bleeding heart liberals" of which I am considered a member of the class, go work in the maximum security prison of your choice for a couple of years and write me back.

      March 13, 2011 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. Rumz

    How can the life of one that takes a life be valued more than the life that was taken? The death penalty isn't about showing that murder is wrong, it's about punishing the one that took a human life with the ultimate punishment. To allow a murderer to live out his days to old age cheapens the life that was taken. It's argued that the more severe punishment is to spend life in prison, but I have never heard of anyone being excuted say in their last words that they were glad it's all coming to an end.

    March 12, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. bill

    First...to those of you that refer to the death penalty as State-sanctioned murder, whatever happened to an eye for an eye? In other words, the punishment should fit the crime. Second, did the murderer give any thought to the suffering of his/her victim? Of course not. So why do we care how much the convicted killer suffers while they die. Personally, I think that they should suffer at least as much as their victims did.

    March 12, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Helen

      I completely agree with you. I'm for the death penalty, I don't like waiting for 20 years to see it happened. Let's just go back to the old days and hang them in front of the whole town and see if anyone else will make the same crimes. Yes, this will probably make some people mad but we didn't have the same issues then as we are having now. People knew that they would be caught and justice will be served. Don't want to offend anyone but it is my opinion.

      March 14, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. Michael in Idaho

    For all of you nitwits who insist on shortening the 17 year waiting period – the reason that exists is so we can be SURE we're executing the right person. The reason Illinois recently abolished the death penalty is they realized they had executed too many (more than 0 in my eyes) innocent people. I would much rather err on the side of caution. I can't believe the notion that our tax dollars pay for a murderer to sit in prison offends your sense of justice more than the notion of executing an innocent person. All this talk about "how would you feel if your child had been murdered by one of these monsters?" How would you feel if your child had been wrongly executed by the state?

    REMINDER: According to Christian beliefs, approximately 2000 years ago a man was executed for political crimes. Are you saying that the execution of Christ was correct?

    March 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • JB

      Jesus never killed anyone...only his followers did to my knowledge. I understand the thought of waiting to make absolutely sure that someone is guilty. However, my personal belief is that if someone is committing a crime against me or my family, I would rather go ahead and use my 2nd amendment right to handle the issue myself. I'll take my chances with our judicial system.

      March 14, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Helen

      Then something is seriously wrong with our justice system. People need to start doing their jobs a whole lot better and making sure they have the right person.

      March 14, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jessica

    Rest In Peace.
    I'm Canadian, and we do not have the death penalty. We do, however, have a conservative government elected – and I have to side with some of the other posters. Killing is wrong. It doesn't matter what kinds of horrific crimes humanity commits, we should (as lawmakers) have the strength to take the high road. To prove that loss of life is not the solution. I would argue that most people who are violent in nature suffer from one or more very serious and probably unaddressed psychological issues. These people need support and help, and not from heavenly father, either. They need it from those of us who are strong enough to be respectable members of society.
    Real help and support, not this bogus 'rehabilitation' that apparently occurs within juvenile and adult detention centres. The entire system is flawed, from the roots of psychological instability, to the fundamental socio-economic issues and support (or lack thereof), right up to the judicial system and those who impose it.
    How many more will die to prove that innocent people don't deserve the same fate.
    And just for the record, I'm not glorifying the laxy-dazy Canadian judicial system either.

    March 12, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristal

      jessica i have done federal prison time and personally know murderers' but not all murders are the same crimes of passion are indeed mental but to go into a store with a weapon that capable of killing a common worker is and should be a crime that brings with it the ulitimate penalty death by any means it takes 4 your demise closure comes in many designs.

      March 12, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BOSR

    Government works, democracy works. Go make someone happy.

    March 12, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jc

    Awweee thats nice...later dbag.

    March 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ray

    We have no repeat offenders after the execution is carried out.

    March 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kristal

    will You compassionate dummies remember 1 thing' not every potential murderer does the deed who at 1 time has not thought about revenge 4 one thing or another I know i have but reality and prison not 2 mention the death penalty bring my thought process back 2 reality and i'm Canadian (25 to life) no death because of death here I love America always have always will but your justice system is way behind the times when overwhelming evidence points to the accused yet there innocent until proven guilty even when 50 citizens witnessed the crime and its on video come on get a grip on reality the fianancial burden on the courts is vulgar and defense attorneys are the worse conniving scenior's that point in other directions deflecting from their clients when its all a big made up story but such is your laws.

    March 12, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jim

    He was just a useless piece of shlt, good riddance!

    March 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. News Reporter

    In Maryland even in the area of Rockville and Gaithersburg, issues that need to be brought before the council are such as similar measures need to be taken. In Frederick, suspects steal a car and assault a cop in the process of getting away. In a store in Bethesda, two women were murdered during a course of a robbery. An arson fire in Silver Spring in an apartment building due to an argument over money and the list goes on. The Montgomery County Council wants stronger laws here to clean up the neighborhoods and many neighbors soon figure that unless the laws get reinforced within the next week, it will be safer on the streets of Iraq than here in Maryland. That is what they say. What is your take on this issue?

    March 12, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Helen

      I'm not from that county but I am from Maryland. I am all for making it safer. It is pretty bad in the area that I live. We need to do something, you can't even walk to your car at a certain time without being afraid of someone hurting you or stealing something out of your car when you open it.

      March 14, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. News Reporter

    I have lived in Montgomery County, Maryland for over 42 years now and never in hell do you ever hear of cops and detectives falling victim to criminals but we have gotten calls from residents and bussinesses saying that in a few years, alot of things will indicate the world coming to an end but it seems a bit extreme but things are starting to make sense due to the police reports and the prison populations bursting at the seems. Tax-payer's money and other money are being used to build prisons but it is a waste of money because the prison guards and other prison staff are being attacked and murdered in the prisons. Something has to be done. Our stations along with other news stations need to host open forums so the public can voice their feelings about the rising crime and the so called "December 21, 2012 End Of The World" that we have been getting calls of recently. An open forum will dispel any myths and conjecture and bring out the facts either directly or by consensus. We are here to help the public and educate the public of current events.

    March 12, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
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