Plea for life

I have been asked to post the following. I am not familiar with any of the details of this case, and only post it so that those people that wish to help this person out can be given the chance to do so.

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As you may or may not know, a Jewish man is slated for execution in Florida today. Martin Grossman was convicted of killing Margaret Parks, a Florida Wildlife Officer, in 1984, when he was 19 years old.

He did so while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and in an act of panic, not premeditation.

He has conducted himself as a model prisoner since his incarceration some 25 years ago and has shown profound remorse and regret for his actions.

National Council of Young Israel has joined other Orthodox Jewish groups including  Agudath Israel of America and the Orthodox Union, in asking Florida Governor Charlie Crist to grant clemency , from the death penalty to life
in prison, to Mr. Grossman, and we have also requested a meeting in person with Governor Crist to discuss the matter.

But it is important that the Governor hear from the grassroots as well - certainly from people who live or spend significant time in Florida, but even from non-Floridians.

His e-mail address is Charlie.Crist@myflorida.com , his phone number is (850) 488-7146 and he can be faxed at 850-487-0801.

Letters and calls should be polite to the Governor to take into account Mr. Grossman’s youth and impairment at the time of the crime and his good behavior and remorse in the years since.

And the request should be that Mr. Grossman be permitted to serve his debt to society by serving the rest of his life in prison.

May we have happier occasions to demonstrate our achdus and ahavas Yisroel.

“Even those who strongly support capital punishment would limit it to recidivists or people whocommit the most heinous of crimes.  Martin Grossman fits neither of those categories.  He does not belong on death row.  His crime, committed when he was a teenager, was  unplanned,unpremeditated
and impulsive—the product
of a serious mental illness, that can now be proved by medical technology that was unavailable at the time of his sentencing.  He has been in prison for more than a quarter of a century, during which time he has been a model prisoner who has shown great remorse for what he did.  All that he is seeking now is a 60 day postponement of his execution, so that his supporters can martial the evidence and present his case for clemency.  No one should be rushed to execution while doubts remain unresolved.  Justice demands that he be given the 60 days to prove that he does not deserve to die at the hands of the state.”

Alan M. Dershowitz

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12 Comments

  1. 1) if he’s been in prison for 25 years it doesn’t seem they are ‘rushing’ the execution

    2) here is the crime he committed (and being on drugs or alcohol is no excuse, or else killing people when I’m drunk driving should also be excusable):

    On the night of December 13, 1984, Martin Grossman and a companion, Taylor, drove to a wooded area in Pinellas County, Florida, and were shooting a stolen handgun when they were approached by Margaret Park, a Florida Wildlife Officer.

    Park confiscated the weapon and license of Grossman, at which point Grossman pleaded with her not report him for possessing a weapon and being outside of Pasco County, both of which were violations of his probation for a burglary charge.

    Park picked up the radio to call the sheriff’s office, but was repeatedly struck on the head and shoulders by her flashlight by Grossman and then beaten by Taylor.

    Park managed to draw her weapon and fired a wild shot within the vehicle, as well as disable Taylor with a kick to the groin. Grossman, who was one foot taller and one hundred pounds heavier than Park, wrestled the weapon away from her and shot her once in the back of the head.

    Grossman and Taylor fled the scene with Grossman’s license, gun, and Park’s gun.

    • Chanief says:

      I have to agree with AE.

      The only reason people are making such a big deal about this execution and sending around these emails with his adorable Bar Mitzvah picture is because he is jewish. Give him any other ethnicity and 99% of those sending these around would not care.

      His crime was heinous and inexcusable. It happens to be that I don’t agree with the death penalty in general but I find it disturbing that there has been such an uproar about this case in the Jewish community when many more people have been executed, some in situations where their guilt is far more ambiguous. Oh wait, they were not Jewish, so it doesn’t matter. Never mind…

      • Lion of Zion says:

        “The only reason people are making such a big deal about this execution and sending around these emails with his adorable Bar Mitzvah picture is because he is jewish.”

        he isn’t the first jew on death row. part of what is fueling the rachmanus here isn’t because he’s jewish, but rather because he’s apparently now somewhat of a BT.

  2. yuyu says:

    In Portugal, he would be ready to go home now, since there is no sentence of more than 25 years (or was it 20?)

  3. I am pretty much against the death penalty. I think his debt could be served by life in prison and hard labour.

  4. Marla says:

    I am with Chanief on this one.

  5. Lady Lock and Load says:

    I feel bad for the officer’s mother and siblings. Their child/sister was taken from them and she was only 26 years old.
    I am not in favor of the death penalty but this case has had alot of publicity. If he is not put to death perhaps other people will think they can get away with murder.
    If he was so drunk and on drugs, why was he able to beat her up and pull the trigger?
    If he did this to any relative of mine, I would want him dead.

    • as for being drunk/on drugs…many drugs (specifically I’m thinking PCP here, but also coke, meth, hallucinogens, etc- all the “uppers”) give you a lot of energy, and also numbs any pain you may feel from people fighting back, so it’s perfectly possible that he was raging on PCP or something and that contributed to the murder.

      From the wikipedia article on PCP: “The drug has been known to alter mood states in an unpredictable fashion, causing some individuals to become detached, and others to become animated. Intoxicated individuals may act in an unpredictable fashion, possibly driven by their delusions and hallucinations.

      Included in the portfolio of behavioral disturbances are acts of self-injury including suicide, and attacks on others or destruction of property. The analgesic properties of the drug can cause users to feel less pain, and persist in violent or injurious acts as a result. ”

      Not that this is any kind of excuse, and I don’t think being on drugs or alcohol is a reason to get away with something – by that standard, as I say above, we should stop persecuting drunk drivers who kill people. Which I completely disagree with. If you do the drugs, be prepared to deal with the consequences, including the consequences of not being fully ‘in control’ of your own behavior.

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