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Ohio executes inmate with one drug

Ohio executed an inmate Thursday with only one drug, previously used primarily to euthanize animals, marking the first time anyone in the United States had been put to death in that manner.

Johnnie Baston, 37, was pronounced dead at 10:30 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio, after receiving an infusion of the drug pentobarbital. His attorney and two brothers witnessed the execution, along with five reporters.

Baston was sentenced to death for the 1994 killing of Chong Mah, 53, a Toledo store owner.

The execution comes after capital punishment in the United States was thrown in disarray in January when Hospira of Lake Forest, Ill., the only U.S. company that makes sodium thiopental, which Ohio and most other states had long used in lethal injection, announced that it would no longer produce the drug.

Last year, Oklahoma became the first state to switch to another method, replacing sodium thiopental with pentobarbital in its three-drug combination. After winning a court challenge to that decision, the state has executed three inmates since December.

Ohio executes inmate with one drug 03/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 10, 2011 11:03pm]
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