Thursday, March 10, 2011

R.I.P. Johnnie Baston

Roman Colosseum lit to protest an execution
On March 10, 2010, Ohio executed Johnnie Baston for the 1994 murder of Chong-Hoon Mah, a 53-year old South Korean immigrant.  The victim's family opposed the death penalty and the execution.

Last week, Gov. Kasich rejected Baston’s clemency plea which sought mercy based on the opposition of the victim’s family to capital punishment and Baston's tragic upbringing.  Baston was abandoned as an infant, and as a boy wandered the streets with his dog to try to find his mother, who he never met.

Baston's execution was noteworthy for being the first to use a single drug, pentobarbital, a sedative normally used to put down pets.  Baston was pronounced dead 13 minutes after he was injected with the drug.  After one minute, he "appeared to gasp, then grimace and wince, but then was quickly still."   This is the ninth execution in the United States in 2011, the second in Ohio.  Baston is the sixth African American to be executed this year.


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