Some 33 percent said they support abolition of the death penalty and 10 percent said they re unsure. Support was strongest in Baltimore County, the suburban area that has sentenced more convicts to death than any other; Anne Arundel County, another suburban area; and the rural regions of the Eastern Shore and Western Maryland, the Sun said.
In December, New Jersey became the first state to abolish the death penalty by legislation since the U.S. Supreme Court's major capital punishment decisions of the 1970s.
"I believe what the Bible says -- an eye for an eye, and if they kill, they should be killed," Evelyn Larkin, a bookkeeper in Towson in Baltimore County, told the Sun. "I guess I'm hard-boiled at 85, right?"
The poll of 904 likely voters was conducted by OpinionWorks, an Annapolis, Md., firm.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley backed a move to abolish the death penalty last year. The measure failed to pass the legislature.
Maryland has executed five people under its 1978 law. One man convicted of raping and killing a young girl was exonerated by DNA evidence after years on death row.