With a looming deficit crisis amid questions about taxes, education, unemployment and infrastructure decay, the last thing lawmakers and Gov. Martin O'Malley need is a protracted fight over the death penalty, which most Marylanders still support though by a smaller margin than in previous years ("O'Malley to lead move to repeal death penalty," Jan. 15).

Unlike Texas and Virginia, Maryland in recent years has rarely executed anyone, no matter how heinous their crime. I cannot even recall when the last execution occurred in this state.

Repealing the death penalty should be at the bottom of the list of priorities this year given Maryland's other, far more pressing problems.

Nelson Marans, Silver Spring

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