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. Fig1024

    I don't get why we have to invent all kinds of extra special execution methods, when a good old bullet to the head is a quick and humane way to go. Not to mention it's cheap. Personally, if I was to die from anything, I'd rather be shot in the head

    March 10, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ogre

    aint none of you twits yet stood in the shoes of the family who lost one of their own to an evil deed. Think long and hard about if it was you little sister, brother, mom, dad or any family member who was extra special to you. The death sentence is good to go. Once it is judged then it is up to the perp to make it right..it is between him/her and HIM when everything is said and done. Better to serve justice and atone here than on the last day.

    March 10, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. NamCbtVet

    Works for me!

    March 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. heidi-ho

    Why dont we just kill the people on DeathRow the same way they killed their victims? And with no mercy, just like their victims? Then we dont have to worry about drugs for injections, electric chairs, ect. I am sick of everyone coddling the criminals and whining boo-hoo about their rights. What about the victims? And their rights? Doesnt anyone care? I say carry on America and let the Death Penalty live on!!

    March 10, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. pauline

    The inmate killed a man. The state kills many men and women. Who is the bigger murderer?

    March 10, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DanCol

    what caused him to murder the guy?

    March 10, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Brett

    Let's just use a shotgun to the head....cheap and effective.

    March 10, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Defient01

    Dot, Are you serious??? MS not terminal. You've never watched anyone die of the complications caused by it have you? It is one of the most horrendous ways to die I have ever seen.

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

    Charlie Myers was allowed to plea out and got life in prison. No needle. Single dose or otherwise.
    http://www.whiotv.com/news/22610776/detail.html

    March 10, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Marion in Australia

    Oh joy! he felt valued while being killed, that's more of a luxury than he gave Chong Hoon Mah. RIP Chong Hoon Mah xxoo

    March 10, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. heidi-ho

    And one other thing-for those of you who commented on assisted suicide? Do not speak on things unless youve been there. My father died a long, painful death from lung cancer. I listened to him many times say hed wish someone could put him out of his misery. It should be available to people who are in that condition and then the decision could be made by that person alone. Too bad I didnt have Dr. Kovorkians phone number, because I surely wouldve given my father the peace he so begged for.

    March 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. aleppo1091

    Maybe someone here knows how to verify this.... but I've read repeatedly that it cost much less to hold a criminal for life, than to pay tax payer zillion$$ to unscrupulous lawyers to push through a couple of decades of appeals. If this is true, go ahead with life sentences, no parole, appeals only based on new DNA evidence, no risk of executing an innocent person.

    March 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. vrim

    Charlie Myers was allowed to plea out on murdering invading Jenny Nelson's home, raping her 4 year old son, shooting her to death and abandoning the boy at a highway rest stop. No needle for him. Single does or otherwise.

    March 10, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bcoyne

    My brother was diagnosed with ALS last do you really think he wants to be put to sleeP? Only a jerk would say that. It may not be good, but I'm sure he wants as much time as possible with his family. He found out he had ALS the same week he heard he was going to be a grandfather for the first time. Do yOu really think he wants to be put to sleep? Idiot!!!!!

    March 10, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • aleppo1091

      Absolutely, it should be your brother's decision, hopefully with the loving input of his family. But it should be *my* decision how to end my life if/when my cancer recurs.

      March 11, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. jameed

    Chong Hoon Mah was a good man. It was only right that this murderer get what he deserved. May the name of Chong Hoon Mah be forever remembered and this murderer be banished from the memory of mankind.

    March 11, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
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