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. Heidi

    Inmates sew blankets for homeless and hospitals lol. Not that its HARD LABOR but.. that is something nice.
    Lets see, they use to have more inmates picking up trash off the highways until some drugged out lady ran over a few of them and they dont do that much anymore, if at all.. Yeah, they should come up with more productive things for them to do other than work needed for the facility.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Heidi

    I got her point Ms. Priss, I'm simply trying to lighten things up. Here is an idea.. how about you shut your face?

    March 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Great idea. I'll "shut my face" as you unsuccesfully continue to "lighten the mood". Just curious, are you reading CNN inbetween watching anime and feeding your cats?

      March 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mindy

    Why should my tax dollars go to supporting death row inmates – they are not contributing members of society, they are a drain and I don't want my tax dollars going to their life imprisonment. And, prisoners shouldn't have the right to have a say in any decisions, they gave that up when they murdered someone else. Maybe our government should include a box on our tax forms that asks if you are for or against the death penalty and those who are against it should have to a pay a stipened to support a death row inmate for the rest of his/her life and those of us who don't get a tax break. That would give our government a better of understanding of what %of the upstanding population is for the death penalty and what % is against. Maybe if enough are against it they'll change our laws, but I bet more people feel the same way I do...especially if it is their pocket being affected!

    March 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ty

      Well said Mindy. Now that's one heck of an idea there. Good to see some valid points here instead of the usual "God is great, he will be the judge of when someone dies, blah blah"

      March 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |

      If you do the research, it has been proven that it will cost more to legally murder some one than let them rot in prison for the rest of their lives. Murder is murder no matter what court gave permission. I am not religious so don't think i am some christian nut. NO ONE has the right to take a life!!

      March 11, 2011 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
    • sanjosemike

      The reason why it costs more to "house" a DP inmate is not because of the housing itself. It is because of the "endless appeals" and court costs. Texas however has "streamlined" those costs and they are far less than most other states. DP need not be "expensive."

      March 11, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Pullitsurprize

    Life sentence better? Are you kidding? They should have shot him the moment they found him.. We should ad pedophiles and start thinning the herd. There's too many violent criminals running around as it is. Why do I need to spend my taxes on remorseful losers such as Baston? Get rid of them as fast as possible.. Next...

    March 10, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Loyalty oath america

    bradley military war crimes destiny..no loyalty oath or phony american marriage family claims or banking bailout schemes or unpaid child support..or chinese toys for american offspring who cannot speak english or internet download crew memeberships can change it. Deport me on your tax dollars for speaking with greater intelligence than you.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ahem

      *pats* You can have a biscuit, too!

      March 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Heidi

    Now if they could just say "GUILTY" and forget all the trial stuff that tends to take years then yes, that would be great...Not to mention a hell of a lot cheaper but its not that easy.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Ah, screw the entire judicial system! To hell with innocent until proven guilty! I mean hell if "A brotha performed open heart surgery for the first time" then anything goes, right Heidi??

      March 10, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Heidi

    Nice one, better look next time Priss. I work in the area of National Security, in keeping our soldiers as safe as possible..what do you do? Its ok, you dont have to answer..

    March 10, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Oh I think your pee went a little further than mine.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sean

    the error rate of crime/judgements is way over exagerated by lawyers who see only the perp and not the victim.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. crip189

    i think everyone deserves a 2nd chance...... including me let me out

    March 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Heidi

    Your so hilarious. Wait, nevermind. Feel free to get back to the subject anytime Katie. I'm sure everyone is awaiting your statement this afternoon.. Wait, nevermind. Have a great day!

    March 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      I think you mean *you're not your. Such a highly trained government worker spelling simple things incorrectly!! Ahh!! This will be my last comment to torment you, so if you feel the need for last word feel free. Also, there is a "reply" button for a reason.

      Have a nice night with your cats, meow.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Heidi

    Lol cute. That was great! Keep them coming please.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mephisto1

    Lethal injection is wimpy. I suggest bringing back the electric chair. It's more spectacular and it's become such a well-known symbol of American justice. Also, put the executions on TV, preferably in a prime TV slot like 7:30 p.m. And take teenagers down to the prison and make them watch in person so that they'll know what happens when you break the law.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iconoclast

      Better yet, set up a gallows in Cleveland's Hough ghetto so's his kind get to see him dangle with a broken neck until he breathes his last! Then hang his wretched corpse from a gibbet like in the good ol' days as a warning to others. I'm being sarcastic, but it would be nice to believe that humankind has progressed somewhat since lynchings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion,_Indiana) and 1945.

      March 10, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. D Grant


    March 10, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mike

    Abortion is murder life begins at the time of conception we are not any different than the bibical people offering their children to the gods . We just call it abortion. What is the difference someone please tell me life stops you are a murder. If someone confess or we have undisputable evidence that they are guilty than as the law says they must die. Do a few and see how long it takes all the killing to slow down people don't care any more. We will house them like Manson and give them free medical services and room and board that the working people can't afford. NOT TO SMART.

    March 10, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Martin

    It is so sad to read these comments. So many people are seriously sick. The big news here is not that another life has been taken in a muder, a judicial murder, but the line adopted is that the use of only one drug is some kind of breakthrough. 50 years ago America was planning to put a man on the moon and the nation went crazy for it. Nowdays the fact that a state can kill a person with one drug is big news. And those very, very sick people going on about cheap bullets. Those are the same bullets that killed your kids in school shootings, the same bullets that were used in the original killing in this case. Has everyone gone totally mad?

    March 10, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ahem

      The country has indeed lost its marbles, sad to say. It used to upset me so much...

      Now I laugh. If one doesn't laugh, one cries. You know which laugh–the terrified, nervous laugh. The laugh someone laughs when he/she sees something absolutely ghastly is happening.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Actually this story shares the same page as a story on Lindsay Lohan. I'm not sure either are considered a "big deal." What would you have us do with this man, who is a convicted murderer? He stood trial and by a jury of his peers was proven guilty and as a result given the death penalty. Would you rather we house and pay for him for the rest of his life? If this man were to have killed one of your loved ones (god forbid), you would suggest what, a plea deal with chance of parol? I don't think so. Death penalty is a necessary evil. Might as well find the most cost efficiant way to perform it.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
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