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Ohio man faces new drug in execution

Ohio man faces new drug in execution
Johnnie Baston's mugshot, courtesy of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A condemned killer in Ohio facing execution by lethal injection says he isn't worried about being the first person to be executed using a new drug.

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

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Baston, 37, would be the first person executed in the United States using only pentobarbital, a fast-acting barbiturate.

Previously, Ohio and most other states have used sodium thiopental for lethal injections, but the U.S. manufacturer has stopped making the drug, The Columbus Dispatch reported Wednesday.

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 said. "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 hadn't been born.

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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."

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has not decided on a clemency request put before him by Baston, the Dispatch reported.

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