Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ohio Death Row Inmate: 'New Drug, Old Drug, it Doesn't Matter'

Johnnie Baston, a condemned killer from Ohio, says he is not worried about being the first person to be executed using a new drug for lethal injection, according to UPI.

"New drug, old drug, it doesn't matter," said Baston, who is scheduled to be executed March 10, 2011. "The whole process should be eliminated,"said Baston as reported by UPI.

Baston will be the first person executed in the United States using only pentobarbital, a fast-acting barbiturate. Oklahoma used pentobarbital, but in conjunction with two other drugs, one that paralyzes the inmate and one that stops the heart. Ohio will just use a single lethal dose of penobarbital.

Ohio and every other state with the death penalty, excluding Oklahoma, used sodium thiopental for lethal injections, but Hospira, Inc. the U.S. manufacturer has stopped making the drug.

Baston, sentenced to death for the execution-style slaying of a Toledo, Ohio, store owner during a robbery on March 21, 1994, acknowledged that he is "very scared" to die.

"The fact that I'll be placed on a table and poisoned to death, I can't find any comfort in that," he told UPI. "It's kind of a sick feeling."

Baston said he is concerned about the impact his death will have on his two teenage children. Baston went to prison when his daughter was a few months old and his son had not been born.

His children will "have to live with this the rest of their lives," he said. "I won't just be their father. I'll be their father who was on Death Row and was executed." The UPI article did not mention whether Baston talked about the victim's family or specifically the victim's children and what they have gone through over past 17 years.

Ohio Governor John Kasich has not decided on a clemency request put before him by Baston, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

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