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. ffsdsdfsd

    when will geoge bush jr get to take this funky drug for all the innocent people that died in IRAQ?

    March 15, 2011 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bu-Ku69

    Why don't we get rid of the controversay about the death penalty and establish a law that says if you murder someone you will be put to death in the same manner with which you murdered e.g. you shoot someone we shoot you, you strangle someone we strangle you, etc. Let the perp suffer the same agony his/her victim suffered. Anf by the way, don't wait around 17 years to carry it out!!

    March 15, 2011 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. Juice

    100% clear cut evidence, caught red handed, no shadow of a doubt, 100% match of DNA, I'm talking you've been caught... I say we tie them up, burn them. 1st Degree murderers, rapists... Handcuff them to a metal pole and burn them.

    March 15, 2011 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. dooeyboober

    think of the economic benefits of execution. These guys perform no economic or social benefit to society only a drain.

    March 15, 2011 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. Katie

    For those of you 'against' euthenasia of self-confessed, convicted murderers - you've obviously never had someone you love killed.
    Tell you what – you want them to stay alive? YOU pay for their food, clothing, entertainment, cigarettes, and education yourself. I'm tired of supporting these people so they can have a better life than most of the good, law-abiding citizens in our country!

    March 15, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. PV

    I am not for the death penality for a few reasons: (1) The Bible said the Revenge is Mine and I will repay said the Lord"
    (2) If you can not give life, I mean breath into a person's lungs and make him live, you have no right to take a live for any reason (3) Killing the convict does nothing to stop suffering and grieving over a lost love one. The person killing the convict is actually a murderer himself and the blood of a convict is actually on the hands of the judge as well. Murder is Murder no matter how it happens and Murder is WRONG no matter how it happens. It is better to use tax payers money to maintain the prisioners, keep them out of society, if they have life in prision, don't educate them because they will never use it in society, your tax dollars are going to be gone anyway no matter if it's taking care of the prisioners or not, so stop whinning about your tax dollars, you ain't going to keep it anyway no matter what they do with it. I pay
    taxes as well, I'd rather pay for a person to live and get to know God, (they always find God is prision) and come to a place that they are truly sorry for what they did because when the years go by and you kill the person, it's different person by then that is sorry and rehabilitated, and if God can forgive them, we should to, not meaning that they should be let out in society because if you take someone's life, I believe you should be locked up for life. Wew! PLEASE STOP THE MURDER, BOTH CRIMINALS AND THE JUSTIC SYSTEM.

    March 15, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • chester

      I have to agree ,We are made in the image of God. But we are still under Gods Authority.We cannot take a life for a life .It is when we start thinking we are better than God, We become our own worse enemies. Ive had some bad things happen to me and family members. But Jesus Christ teaches us to forgive one another. Love is the Greatest gift God gave us. We must remember Jesus Christ Died on the cross for all our sins. He who mwas Sinless !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      March 16, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Mainebeast

      If you believe in that propaganda.

      March 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miranda

      Well, when a new prison need to be built to hold all the sociopaths, I hope that you take a proactive stance and ask for it to be built somewhere near you. Maybe you can open a half-way house for when the psychos are released from prison far short of their supposed sentence. Oh – make sure you give them a job too. Then when they kill someone else, you can start the process all over again. I'm sure you're thrilled that they can repeatedly (ad nauseum) appeal their convictions and sentences, tying up the court system for decades. Good luck with all that.

      March 17, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Not sure how to break this to you, but people do give life exactly as you described: ", I mean breath into a person's lungs and make him live." It's called CPR, and people do it pretty much every day.

      Right now, the biggest problem with the death penalty is the cost. Simply put, it's more cost effective to keep someone alive on death row until they die of old age, than to kill them. Remedy this one small problem, and many other things will fall into place. If the death penalty was actually enforced, in a timely manner, it would resonate much more clearly among potential criminals. Knowing that particularly heinous crimes will result in your life being over, might just give pause for thought.

      As a nice added bonus, we will relieve ourselves of a massive tax drain.

      March 17, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. S. Surrell

    In a truly just society, these monsters that committed unspeakable crimes, would not sit on death row for years and would end their days with a single bullet to the head.

    March 15, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • drano

      Maybe you should move to the truly just society of North Korea, China, Iran and other forward thinking cultures that provide a bullet to the head as a result of what was an undoubtedly fair and just trial.

      March 15, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • fishfry001

      @drano: Like all of our trials here are fair and just. What a laugh!! That's why The Innocence Project has not only gotten so many convicts off of death row but has proven many to be innocent beyond all doubt. That said, my man here is absolutely correct because there are some murderers who are caught pretty much in the act or fleeing the scene. These are the ones that are guilty beyond all doubt, not just a reasonable doubt, and these are the criminals who should face iimmediate execution after conviction without any possibility for appeal, period.

      March 17, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. get em all

    Maybe if we went after the killers brothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends, children and parents and executed them too that would be a deterrent.

    What do you think? Just saying.

    March 15, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      No, What we need to prevention. What say we execute them BEFORE they do the murder and prevent it. We could have the cops cruise the streets with high powered rifles and shot dead potential murders before they do the crime. Seriously, nothing you can do to prevent this our problem is we think "what would stop me from doing something" and then our error is to think the same would stop everyone. Logic does not apply to these thugs, nothing does if you are both anti-social and stupid.

      March 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kate

    FACTS: From genetic construction, the reality is that humans are the most violent animals ever to exist. The U.S. is the most violent nation in the history of the world. The U.S. has more prisoners than any other country in the world. The U.S. executes more people every year than any other country in the world (including China and Iran combined). The U.S. has started more wars in its brief existence than any other civilization in the history of the world.

    And, the U.S. does all that in the name of God. "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord." Why do Americans believe they are above God? Why do Americans have so much contempt for God?

    March 15, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Actually that's not true, America has started the, Revolutionary and Afghani war, that's it. The U.S. may have intervened in the most wars though, because we didn't start 1812, ww1, ww2, vietnam, and korea. Iraq started the Iraqi war. You should really buff up on American history before you talk about it.

      March 15, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      Your analysis is based in ignorance.

      First, the reason why we have more people in jail than any other nation in the world is because of non-violent offenses. If you did your research, you would know that more than half of our prison population are incarcerated after being charged with non-violent crimes.

      Why does the US kill more of it's prisoners? Population and technology. First, the US has the third largest population in the world. It would make sense that on a proportional scale, that the US would execute more people than the nations you listed. It's simple math, and you only use the numbers to YOUR advantage. As far as technology goes, we have some of the most sophisticated equipment and some of the best trained agents looking for people who commit murder. We are able to catch more people, therefore, we are able to give more of the death sentences out for the crimes that they commit.

      Finally, look in any history book, and you will see that we have not started as many wars as you think. Also look into any history book, and you will see that the religion you support has killed more people in the name of god, than our country has in the name of public and global safety.

      March 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PHILLIEBADBOY

    SAHM...maybe we should bring hanging back...as Obama said "We are tightnening the noose" on certain regimes...maybe we should start here!

    March 15, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jsizzle

    Kill em all, let God sort them out.

    March 15, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • fishfry001

      Were you in Nam?

      March 17, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. lol

    so much hate, more than enough to go around. I hope I never hate as much as the posters on here.

    March 15, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • fishfry001

      It's not hate – its' justice. There's a big difference, except to you bleeding hearts who would give the likes of Jeffrey Dahmer a scolding and a two day time out before sending him on his merry way.

      March 17, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dude

    Execute them all and we'll be on our way to Walden Two!! Hoo-hah!

    March 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. yoab

    killing an innocent man? laughable... how remote is that?, anyway it's a risk i am willing to take, after all innocent people die in plane crashes, do we shut down the aviation industry for that? of course not, we strive to make flying as safe as possible.

    March 15, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Walker

    In a matter of seconds, the late Mr. Baston ended someones life, and robbed Mr. Mah's family of his laughter and love. However, it took the State of Ohio and its 3 Judge Panel to end Mr. Baston's life and rob his children and family of his laughter and love. Legally. Even though Mr. Mah's family openly opposed the death sentence.

    I don't know what the right punishment is, but I know it's not a slow, deliberate and painful death. I don't care how hardened of a criminal it is. They are still a human being and should be treated as such.

    March 15, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
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