Survey results released Monday by pollster OpinionWorks show that a plurality of respondents statewide support capital punishment, 48 percent to 42 percent who oppose. Respondents in Montgomery County favored repeal by 49 percent to 41 percent, Prince George’s County respondents narrowly opposed repeal, by a margin of 42 percent to 41 percent. Baltimore voters opposed repealing the death penalty, 52 percent to 36 percent. More conservative areas of the state, like Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, also opposed repealing the death penalty by significant margins.
The poll of 800 voters was conducted Dec. 28 and Jan. 2 and had a margin of error of 3.5 percent.
Delegate Neil C. Parrott, Washington Republican who helped spearhead referendum efforts last year, said he thinks it’s too early to talk about a possible referendum on the death penalty. But he pointed to the Beltway sniper killings as an example where the death penalty — which was applied in 2009 in Virginia to John Allen Muhammad, the mastermind of the shootings — was used correctly.
“Some crimes are so heinous that there is no acceptable punishment other than capital punishment,” Mr. Parrott said.
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Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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