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. The Doctor

    I don't know whats wrong with you weak people who propose letting convicted killers live. Would you allow Cancer or any other deadly disease live because you felt sorry for it? No, you would want it cut out and destroyed. I'm tired of the U.S with all of its fake sympathy...in the form of a sometimes 17 year wait for prisoners on death row. I say that if a person is convicted for murder beyond all doubt..there should be no appeal...and his/her return to heaven or hell should take place within the hour...or maybe after 5pm...we can send them all back in a group.

    Funny...that those who consider the death penalty immoral, see nothing wrong with killing a cow, fish, lamb, buffulo or baby, Its all killing, and most of you are guilty.

    March 13, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Annigirl

    Execution isn't used to show people that committing murder and other heinous crimes is wrong, it is used as the punishment and consequence for wanton violence. State sponsored euthanasia is planned, scheduled, and carried out in a very systematic manner. Criminals who don't like these consequences should know the punishment before they commit the crime, and if they don't like it, move someplace where it is not backed by the people who invoked and approved it into law.

    March 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. goodjob2

    Its all good,,,, get rit of killers, save tax $$, keep it going...... LETs get the assembly line going...

    March 13, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. James

    Send some of that pentobarbital to Texas–We have plenty of inmates to use it on–

    March 13, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mark

    How do you know when somebody's brain has shut down? When they spout the "why do we kill to show killing is wrong?" rubbish. We are killing to show that murder is wrong. There is a difference between killing and murder, but liberals have apparently had the piece of their brain removed required for understanding this. What's sadly comical is that those same liberals don't think twice about ripping a baby from its mother's womb. To them, it's not even killing. So the pathetically disillusioned among you cry over the death of a convicted murderer and laugh at the thought of a baby literally shredded and tossed in a medical waste bin. Pitiful.

    March 13, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Amber

    Everyone shows the sympathy for the inmate about to lose his life. However, do you ever bother to think of the person who's life was ripped away from them? What those last seconds were like, knowing that you'd never see your wife or kids again? How about the family and friends who will deal with that sorrow forever? I do not have that sympathy for some low-life. That criminal had a choice and didn't have to shoot someone in the head. There are consequences and he deserved to pay the price for what he did...even if it was his life. He made the decision, and the life he took didn't have one.

    March 13, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mechatronics

    And his parents thought he would never amount to anything. First in his class. Who would of thought?

    March 14, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. Erik

    To anyone supporting the death penalty: if you are logical then you should volunteer yourself for execution immediately. Let's examine the logic of that statement: I presume you believe that we should execute anyone that is responsible for murdering an innocent. Since we inevitably execute innocent people due to the inability to know 100% for sure that everyone convicted of such a crime is guilty, *someone* is responsible for the murder of these innocents. I believe that the "someone" is you, the supporter of executions. So following your own beliefs you should be executed. Please report to the nearest Death Row and ask for your punishment to be administered post-haste.

    March 14, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • steve

      spoken like a true criminal!

      March 14, 2011 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. steve

    it's called justice!

    March 14, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. JB

    I believe in the death penalty. Erik says "we can't know for 100% certainty that someone is guilty"...I would beg to differ there. Maybe you should consider looking at video evidence, DNA, etc. I know there are cases where innocent people are convicted and put to death. That is horrific, no doubt. However, it doesn't negate the criminals who were actually guilty. The people who are saying that America needs to "join the civilized world and stop using the death penalty", should probably think before they insult the rest of us with their peace loving BS. The bottom line is that if people don't commit the murder in the first place, they wouldn't face the death penalty. It's that simple folks. Education is key to lowering the crime rate across the board. Our jails are full because people have broken the law, not because we were bored and wanted something else to do or something else to spend tax payer money on. Regardless, when people break the law, they pay the price. If that means it cost the rest of the law abiding citizens more in taxes, I would pay it. Whatever price we have to pay to have less criminals, more peace, more security and more safety in our communities, it is well worth it. I say let's go ahead and empty death row. It is crazy to have people on death row for 10, 15 even 20 years or more. If they have been given the right to appeal and they have exhausted every avenue for a new trial, it's time to give the families the justice they are due.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
    • WHAT?!?!?!? to JB

      May be I don't understand the logic in this comment. You are fast to say kill the murders because an innocent life was taken. What about the people that just killed an innocent man? What should we do to them? What do you suppose we do for the families who loved one was just executed and found innocent? Don't they deserve some time of closure? Let's be fair across the board now. They killed somebody innocent so we need to set up an execution date for them. Do you see how messed up the system would be if we followed the rules across the board.

      March 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jesse Cambre

    The excellent thing about the death penalty IS that they do not kill you right away, you then have time to think and reflect about your life, maybe even get right with whom you consider God. I know of two people in AZ that one killed someone was sentenced to manslaughter did ten years got out and killed two people within two years of getting out. He was facing the death penalty and am sure would have wanted it but instead was give the agony of having to rot in prison, the same for another "person" which I knew of he went on a killing spree due to his drug trafficking deals gone wrong and he also was given life. It seems that with a good lawyer all of this is possible as they both had a paid attorney. This is not the case with some of these low income individuals that cannot properly defend themselves and YES both of these individuals that I speak of are WHITE.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. T.L.W

    It is not the states job to judge a person, a jury of their peers does that. It is not the states job to sentence a convict to death, its a jury of their peers. It is not the states job to weigh consequence given by a murders maker, its their job to arrange the meeting.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. islander

    No taking of lives is really appropriate at all. No death penalty, no abortion either. Lets not play God at all. Plenty of room for righteous indignation for conservatives AND liberals....right? All just BS artists with their own axe to grind.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
  14. TRollUnderBridge

    Wassup, you are all 12 year olds this man was so pro he got himself free food for 20 years + fresh butt every week you are all dumb... i live in my moms basement and i am fat so what get on me hahahaha!!!11!!one!1

    FOR PONY!

    March 14, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mah Boy

    Can't we just drop these quote-unquote "people" (criminals) off a really tall building? Gravity's FREE.

    March 14, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
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