St. Petersburg, FL – On Behest of Chief Rabbi Pope Calls for Mercy for Martin Grossman

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    St. Petersburg, FL – The Vatican is calling for mercy for a man scheduled to be executed today for killing a young Florida wildlife officer 25 years ago.

    But even the Pope doesn’t argue that Martin Edward Grossman is innocent.

    Grossman, who shot and killed Margaret “Peggy” Park on Dec. 13, 1984, “has repented and is now a changed person, having become a man of faith,” wrote Archbishop Fernando Filoni on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI. He asked for “whatever steps may be possible to save the life of Mr. Grossman.”

    Filoni wrote the letter at the behest of the chief rabbi of Israel, Shear-Yashuv Cohen.

    Grossman’s lawyers plan to make a last-minute appeal the U.S. Supreme Court today to stay the execution. Grossman, meanwhile, has declined the traditional last meal. Instead, he will have banana and peanut butter cookies and tea he bought from the inmate canteen, according to the Department of Corrections.

    Activists against the death penalty took up Grossman’s case, including several Jewish organizations that pleaded for clemency, asking Gov. Charlie Crist to commute his sentence to life in prison.

    Amnesty International said it had “serious questions about the quality of his legal representation and compelling mental health evidence that was never presented to a jury.”

    More than 26,000 people signed an online petition asking that Grossman’s life be spared. Nobel prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel also weighed in on his behalf.

    Rabbis from groups including the Rabbinical Council of America, the Aleph Institute and the National Council of Young Israel wrote to Crist on Feb. 9 asking him to spare Grossman’s life because he “has shown profound remorse and regret” for the officer’s murder.

    “He acted under the influence of drugs and alcohol. His fatal shooting of Ms. Parks was not an act of premeditation but of panic,” the letter said. “He has transformed himself from a deeply troubled teenager into a gentle and simple man, a proud practitioner of his faith and a humble servant of God.”

    A spokesman for the governor said that by Friday night the office had received more than 9,443 e-mails and more than 7,849 phone calls about the Grossman case.

    “Signing a death warrant is a responsibility that Governor Crist takes very seriously,” spokesman Sterling Ivey wrote in an e-mail to the St. Petersburg Times, “and the warrant for Martin Grossman was signed after a careful review …”

    Grossman would be the first inmate Florida has put to death for killing a law enforcement officer since the September 2006 execution of Clarence Hill. The Alabama man was executed at the age of 48 for ambushing two Pensacola police officers after an Oct. 19, 1982 bank robbery. He shot and killed Officer Stephen Taylor and wounded Officer Larry Bailly as they tried to arrest Hill’s accomplice.

    Grossman, 45 of Pasco County, was 19 when he killed Park as she tried to arrest him and 17-year-old Thayne Nathan Taylor in what is now the Brooker Creek Preserve in Tarpon Springs.

    Grossman has spent the latter half of his life in prison for the murder. He is scheduled to die at 6 p.m., the first Florida execution of 2010 and the 69th since the death penalty was restored in 1976.

    Park, a Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission officer, found a stolen Luger pistol in the van Grossman and Taylor were in and tried to report it.

    But Grossman, fearing the offense would violate his probation and land him back in prison, attacked the officer with her own flashlight as she used her radio.

    “I’m hit,” Park yelled over the radio.

    Grossman called for Taylor to help him subdue the officer. Park managed to draw her .357 magnum and fire off a wild shot inside her patrol vehicle. Then she kicked Taylor in the groin.

    But the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Grossman overpowered the 5-foot-5, 115-pound officer. He broke her fingers wrenching the .357 away from Park and shot her in the back of the head.

    The two men escaped but were arrested 11 days later. Grossman was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death a year to the day of the murder. Taylor was convicted of third-degree murder and served two years of his seven-year sentence.

    Park grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and quickly developed an affinity for the outdoors. She camped with park rangers in Ontario and especially enjoyed the sounds of wolves howling.

    She graduated from Ohio State University and came to Florida to become a wildlife officer. She quickly took to the law enforcement side of her new post, though it often required her to patrol alone.

    “I decided when I was 12 that I wanted to be a park ranger,” she told the St. Petersburg Times in an interview before her death. “It will never be a job.”

    After her service, Park’s ashes were scattered by helicopter over the eagles’ nests she helped care for as a wildlife officer.

    In 2007, a stone marker was placed in John Chesnut Park to honor “an officer fallen in the cause of conservation.”

    Park’s brother, sister and mother, Peggy, 79, planned to attend the execution. The mother travelled from Ohio despite a cardiologist’s order not to travel.

    **UPDATE**
    Grossman had three visitors before the execution. His aunt, Rosa Melton and two friends, Sharon Lioen and Francine Whitehouse came to see the man before he died.

    Initially as was reported here on VIN News, Grossman wanted peanut butter and banana cookies from the canteen and a can of ice tea for his last meal. However WTSP is reporting that he added a chicken sandwich and substituted fruit punch for the ice tea.

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    136 COMMENTS

    1. What a political piece of X(!%$#9@. What about mercy for the dead woman? I can’t believe they ran this all the way up the chain to get the Vatican involved???? Who authorized this fiasco? Who pushed this through to get such insidious PR for the Jews? Can’t you just let that murderer get his just punishment? Post the autopsy pictures on the web and then go crying for your barbaric mercy. A disgrace!

        • Every mainstream religious institution has now become abolitionist regarding the death penalty, the only holdouts are Muslims and Orthodox Jews. Great company ya’ll keep.

        • how about during the Holocaust ?.?
          stop the nonsense about the Vatican “credibility”!
          start acting like a yid . dont get your inner reinforcement from the approval of the thru and thru Rotten secular world!
          We dont need their approval !
          Hashem laughs at your poor wimpy panicky chicken hearted soul Mr.Hall

        • my friends these times are strange indeed
          each day brings new revelations and disclosures worldwide .
          the midas hadin is dancing high… whether its a scandal or astounding news… we are all being bombarded with a call from Hashem God , to repent of our whole life attitude.. and our complete value system is being torn at its foundations!!
          Brothers! Let us wake up Now !!!

      • I understand you’re upset that there has been much hypocrisy involved in this matter, but please understand that some of us are genuinely opposed to the death penalty in the US, on constitutional grounds no less. Would you have the same rant against some liberal group that believe that execution constitutes ‘cruel and unusual punishment’, or do you only reserve your vitriol for frum Jews who appear to be circling the wagons?

        • If Martin’s life is spared than another criminal would not be so afraid to murder someone. Clemency for Martin would send an message to all criminals that it’s OK to murder as long as you repent later, in jail.

          • This is patently false. the 15 states without the death penalty have a lower murder rate as a percentage of their populations than do states with the death penalty.
            Look it up. I hardly see how spending the rest of your known life without parole behind bars is anymore or less a deterrent than the threat of execution after 20 plus years rotting behind bars. Then again, the numbers prove me right.

          • No one is talking of releasing him on the street, only to keep him in jail for life. Will a would be murderer still not be so afraid to murder someone? Will it still send a message to all criminals that it’s OK to murder as long as you repent later, in jail – because you’ll only go to jail for life?

          • Completely illogical argument. First of all one of the main arguments is that this was not a premeditated act. It was an impulsive act of desperation. Your argument of “another criminal would not be so afraid to murder someone” is therefore moot. Second of all, life in prison without parole is enough of a deterrent against committing murder. Those that kill generally don’t take into account that they will get caught or they simply don’t care because their emotions outweigh logical thinking. Thirdly, according to your argument the person would have to assume he will get an entire community to intervene on his behalf, tens of thousands of petitions, and the pope himself will get involved.

      • This Popeulous support will Not come without a price. Next time an abortion doctor is killed by a Xtian zealot, and facing the Death Penalty, The Vatican will ( and understanably so) expect (demand) that the Jews come out for leniency for the murderer. (Personally, I am ok with that……I didn’t feel any sorrow for that so called “late term abortion doctor” getting killed, and care less how his friends and family feel on their loss).

        • You wouldn’t “feel any sorrow for that so called “late term abortion doctor” getting killed”.

          That is not the Jewish view on abortion. Judaism is against abortion and even more on killing the doctor. You’re view might be a Christian one, surely not Jewish.

          • I am certainly a Jew, and there is Nothing unjewish about my statement. I do Not advocate killing abortion “doctors”, or feel that doing so is appropriate behavior in a civil society. I merely stated that in my opinion feeling sorry for these butchers, whose practice is limited to and specializing in abortions (especially the “late term specialists”) is misplaced sympathy if they meet up with a tragedy of their own.

            • By not having sympathy with a murdered abortion doctor means that you don’t mind it. So why don’t you mind it, because you consider an abortion doctor a murderer. To this I’m telling you that, that’s a Christian view, as Judaism does not view the killing of a fetus (even in the third trimester) as murder. It is forbidden, but nevertheless not murder.

        • What are you smoking? The Catholic Church has always been opposed to the death penalty, regardless of the circumstances regarding the case. I have yet to see a case in which the Catholic Church requested “leniency” for a specific killer.
          Unfortunately, you are typical of an unprincipled have-it-both-ways Frum Jew. you pick and choose, selectively applying the death penalty to satisfy your own emotional bias. At least the Catholic Church is consistent.

      • U r nuts! How will killing him bring back the police woman?! He already served a life sentence. 26 years in new york would of gotten him out of jail for the same crime. Now we are not asking to release him. But why kill him?

      • What does autopsy pictures have to do with this? No one is denying any facts, only pointing out WHY his life should be spared. Who authorized this? Jews with hearts did. This ordeal (not fiasco) has brought out a who’s who with a Jewish heart. Sadly, you have company.

      • Your “loving kindness” will one day come to haunt you when you may be on death row.

        Besides the argument to stop the pending Murder Grosman is based on law. I assume that you, not only do not respect life, you also do not respect the law, which does not warrant execution of someone who did the crime in such a compromised mental state.

        The Law is the Law and this Law, which don’t respect, says he should NOT be executed.

        This law is what the Governor must consider and it is this law plus much more, which will be argued today before the Supreme court.

          • In Germany, “the law” said murder all Jews.

            In the Gaza strip “the law” todays says the same.

            If you respect “the law” so much why don’t you volunteer yourself to Hamas so they can carry out your sentence according to what they hold is “the law”.

        • He had a fair trial.

          You just don’t like the outcome.

          Or more precisely, you don’t like the fact that the murderer is Jewish, since you say you support the Death Penalty.

          • First, there are those who say that he didn’t have a fair trial. Second, if it would have been a fair trial, I wouldn’t have minded the outcome 26 years ago. Third, because he is Jewish is NOT the reason why I ask the governor for clemency; the reason is because anyone, Jewish or not, in his situation should be deserving of clemency. That I asked the governor for him is ONLY because his situation came to my attention. When a retarded drug smuggler was put to death in China I sent them a letter to protest. Now will you (as a Jew) finally understand that THIS case is different, and not because he is a Jew? It is almost three hours before, and your heart is still not moved?

            Dave, either you aren’t Jewish (even if you said that you are), or your heart is still made of stone.

            • Are you saying that you have MORE compassion for the victim then all of us? Yes, foolish you for not having acknowledged even ONE argument for clemency. At least ten good arguments have been made on the many VIN articles and you haven’t signed on to even one of them, just constantly misquoting the facts and arguments to suit your stone heart. Then you have the audacity to claim that you (the one who has a heart of stone) is the only one who has compassion for the victim (sorry victims)! Some nerve. It’s not compassion that you have, it is hate disguised as compassion.

            • Alan Dershowitz? The same attorney who had the chutzpah to declare that 26 years amounted to a “rush to execution”.

              Dershowitz is a defense attorney. His job is to say whatever he thinks will get his client off.

            • (From a UMKC Law School on the OJ Simpson Trial)

              In his book, The Best Defense, Dershowitz gave a view of the approach he would later take in the Simpson case. “Once I decide to take a case,” Dershowitz wrote, “I have only one agenda: I want to win. I will try, by every fair and legal means, to get my client off–without regard to the consequences.” In his memoir The Best Defense, Dershowitz noted that “almost all of my clients have been guilty.”

      • I guess all the G’dolay Torah who are publicly for the stopping of this execution don’t add up to a hill of beans in your book because you know better. Sometimes I wish even liberals used their saychil on occasion. It certainly wouldn’t hurt.

        • I’m confused, OBSESSING ABOUT LIBERALISM IS A DISEASE!!!!, or whatever your name is. I thought Liberals don’t want people to be executed, and that Conservatives were pro-Death Penalty. Now it’s the Liberals who want people to be executed and the Conservatives are opposed to Capital Punishment?

          Cool!

          • Yes, when it comes to the murder of Jews, like in Gaza, it is the liberals who accuse Israel of defending themselves. It only bothers them when Arab terrorists get killed not when innocent (Israeli) children get murdered.

        • Huh? If Liberals had it their way, there would be no death penalty at all. There is not one liberal country in the world with the death penalty and that includes Israel.
          Of the 15 states without the death penalty in the US, 12 of them are solidly Democratic. Since you’re such a big time Conservative, I wonder what your real “G’dolay Torah,” Rush Limbaugh would say about this case. For some odd reason, I highly doubt he would side with the Chief Rabbi of Israel or the Pope.
          It is Conservatism and right-wing “values” that will ultimately be responsible for executing Martin Grossman , not anything even remotely liberal.

      • You and the others who agree with you are all a disgrace to our holy nation. We as Yidden need to stand beside each other NO MATTER what the situation is. We all stood at har Sinai and we must do everything in our power to save a Yid’s life. Are you brighter than all our greatest gedolim who have all been begging for his execution to be changed to life in prison?? Do you think our gedolim don’t know what you THINK you do? The answer likely is-you do not respect our gedolim. This is the greatest sickness in our generation. As I heard from a great gadol(from his mouth to my ears) that mocking gedolim in blogs….is this generations version of Avodah Zarah. And so I ask you to think nice and deep before you reply. Better yet,you’d better start doing teshuva because your mind is clearly corrupted. Unfortunately you are far from alone.

      • According to jewish law, even in the time of the sanhedrin, one would never be killed if there were no wittness, even if he would admit it, As long as there werent 2 wittnesses, and he was warned he would NOT be killed. I know some people love to see their brothers killed, We are still brothers, yiddin and we still would rather have him alive. just like we would like to see our blood brothers live no matter what.

        Having said that, the argument now is a 60 day stay, for time for an appeal. Now you might believe that he deserves the death sentence, it’s not sooo sure that the law permits him to be excuted. for that reason EVERYBODY BUT YOU and another couple of jew hating cowards want him to get another chance in court.

        People bashing jews, just encourages anti semitism. everybody understands that people want another chance in court. what jew haters want to hear is jew bashing. Please try refraining from publishing your non jewish thoughts so as not to discourage anybody with a jewish heart. Even the pope has a more human rachmunes than you. you should be ashamed of yourself.

          • You should not show how ignorant you are of the case.The stay is for a clemency review,to see if he is eligible for clemency through legal ways.That’s a new process.In the old one,it’s just about unheard of for any court to issue a stay.

        • So now, US law follows the rules of the times of the Sanhedrin? Somebody better tell the Supreme Court. Why are they always the last to know?!

          What a chillul Hashem this is, seeing Jews weep and pray and rend their clothes for a cold-blooded killer with no sympathy for the poor victim and her family.

          I’m against the Death Penalty but he shouldn’t be released or anything until all of them are.

          Yes, I’m sure a 60 day stay will prove it with all of the magical evidence that didn’t exist in the previous 20 appeals. Or another argument about the ridiculous claim that he has an IQ of 77.

          You worry about Jewish hearts? Where is yours?

        • What if it were your son…?

          I’m guessing that most of us don’t sit around and wonder about how we’d handle it if our children were cop-killers, rapists, pedophiles, serial killers, child pornographers, etc. So I don’t try to decide how I think those people should be treated if they were my children.

          If this were a black man who killed a Jew, you wouldn’t be asking the same question.

    2. The pope is against every execution. He believes it to be part of his faith. I am also against the death penalty. I only wish that those who protest the loudest aren’t just protesting that a Jew is being executed. If you support capital punishment you really should come up with additional reasons. In other articles some do, but others just repeat that he is a Jew.

      • I agree with you that it’s not because he is a Jew that’s why he deserves mercy; if he would not be Jewish he would also deserve mercy; just that the Jewish people (who then?) took on this righteous cause.

        If you bring me another case like this and he is not Jewish, I’ll also send a letter.

    3. Shear-Yashuv Cohen is the Chief Rabbi of Haifa, not of Israel. I wonder what he would think if this murderer was an Arab who killed a Jew, but has since repented and become a different person.

      • There is no comparision. How can you compare a man who murdered one person (I am not condoning what he did; Martin should get life in prison), to an Arab who mass murders Jews through suicide bombing? Stop being a liberal!

      • Well lets turn to the other side of the coin! If chas vasholem your child, wife, or mother was brutally murdered by someone in cold blood for whatever reason and then the murderer claims he didnt know what he was doing. He then as years go by claims that he became religious and decided that he was sorry. Would you forgive him for taking the life of your loved one? Or would you want him to be punished like it says in the Torah an eye for an eye!

        • You are mixing apples and oranges.

          You are asking “how would we FEEL if it was someone close to us”.

          The answer to your question is irrelevant because no one decides if someone should or should not be Murdered according to law based on their personal FEELINGS.

          We are talking here about what we consider is the RIGHT THING to do and what is FAIR and what is UNFAIR and personal feelings if it’s your family member involved or not are OBVIOUSLY irrelevant.

          COLD Facts (no “feelings just FACTS) are:

          1) He has and had an IQ of 70 and so was not in the right frame of mind at the time of the crime and so he could be punished but not Murdered.

          2) He never yet got a fair trial because his defense of his mental state was not yet considered.

          3) He already served a life sentence of more than 25 years and so he can’t be punished twice for the same crime. If he was in NY state he would be let out already by now after serving 25 years.

          His Teshuva is a factor too but need not even be counted here because the above 3 points alone are more than enough to stop the senseless murder of Grossman today.

          • Fact: His IQ is (according to his defenders) 77. This is not a factor in execution, because the legal standard is 70.

            Fact: He got a fair trial, that has been extensively reviewed by Courts at all levels. No significant errors were found, and the Appellate decisions are online for all to see.

            Fact: The only reason things have taken this long is that he and his attorneys have chosen to prolong the process (as is his right). But you do not get to drag the legal resolution out, and then claim that it took too long.

            • Wow, you caught him by a mistake, he said 70 and it is 77! You are obviously in law enforcement. We’re you hired to do this?

              The argument is not because it took this long, but what happened in the last 25 years. Can’t you understand?

            • The distinction is very important.

              An IQ of 70 (Mentally Retarded) would block execution.

              An IQ of 77 would not.

              And unless Peggy Park was raised from the dead in the past 25 years, what happened since then is irrelevent to punishment.

            • Actually, he doesn’t.

              Under Florida law, clemency requires the Governor, and two of the other three members of the Clemency Board.

              The Governor can block clemency, and he can postpone an execution for 60 days, but he cannot himself grant clemency.

              But that’s a digression from your question, which is a fair one.

              Yes, the Clemency Board can consider anything it likes. It could consider his religious faith, his shoe size, or whether a family member gave a hefty campaign donation.

              So, I should clarify, in my opinion, what he has done since then is not germane to whether or not execution should be conducted. He has had the opportunity to (maybe) reform himself. That does not mean that I believe he should be spared because of it, any more than I thought Karla Faye Tucker should be spared.

              But, as I look for Orthodox articles on Karla Faye Tucker online, all I find are arguments as to why she should not be spared.

            • I don’t understand what you are saying. Are you saying that the Agudah should have taken on the case of Karla Faye Tucker? She was a born again Christian and they took up her cause. What’s your question?

            • When did Agudah argue for clemency for Karla Faye Tucker? I have not been able to find a single Orthodox group or article that lobbied for commutation in her case.

            • Again Karla Faye Tucker was a born again Christian and they took up her cause. Martin Grossman is a Jew and therefore the Agudah took up his cause. Very simple. That doesn’t mean that the Agudah was for the execution of Tucker.

            • Except that if you look at Orthodox writings concerning Karla Faye Tucker, every single one I’ve been able to find has been an argument as to why clemency is inappropriate. If you can find any supporting Tucker and opposing the Death Penalty, I’d be interested in seeing them.

            • You don’t know what your talking about.Evreything depends on the govonor,he is the only one who can open a clemncy case.Without him the board can do nothing.And he is the one who has the power for the 60 day stay ,the whole thing were asking for.

    4. “he will have banana and peanut butter cookies and tea he bought from the inmate canteen”
      it’s beyond one’s comprehension to imagine what goes through Mr. Grossman’s mind knowing that he’s been scheeduled for execution very soon. it is only his faith that keeps him going and even wanting to eat.

    5. It appears that “Anonymous” has some serios frustrations in him, so please be aware that all of us need mercy and forgiveness for actions that we did, and all of us beg the al mighty for it, so it is a bit harsh and not proper to express your self in this manner. All of this is aside the point if this young man had a fair trail in court or perhaps we will learn one day that this killing was pre matuare and a mistake

      • It’s irrelevant he’s Jewish. We need to follow the laws of the land. He did the crime, now he pays the time. The time will be in another world though after today.

        Goodbye, farewell, shalom.

        • Nazism was the “law of the land” in 1930’s Germany. The “law of the land” is not always correct and needs to modified and improved upon from time to time. The notion that a person should blindly adhere to injustice because it is “the law of the land,” is absurd.

        • According to the law of the land we have a right to appeal to the governor and the governor has the right to issue clemency. According to the law of G-d you will one day need to answer to him for your callous approach to the death of a Jew.

    6. To take a life, even in exchange for another, is a very serious matter. This man has an IQ of 70 and chose banana and peanut butter cookies as his last meal. Nobody is arguing for his release, it just seems a bit inhumane for us as a society to execute someone of feeble mind who was under the influence, many years ago. Is this justice? Email Gov. Cristie, he is a reasonable man. The political issue is due to the involvement of a police officer, for which states are biased with regard to the death penalty.

      • There are no facts to support the “IQ” defense. This has been tried MANY times in his appeals and has never been proven. It is the lay-opinion of some rabbonim who know him.

        As for the drugs, that is also no excuse. He chose to do drugs, he chose to live a life of crime (he had been convicted in the past), and he chose to kill that woman in a brutal and violent way.

        Stop making excuses for him. He is a cold-blooded murderer.

        Our only reason to stand up and fight for him is because he is a yid and halacha obligates us to do so. Everything else is smoke and mirrors that have been rejected by 4 governors and countless judges.

        Stand up for the right reasons. He is a yid and we are obligated to protect him. Period.

    7. To #1 How can you say that? No one is denying that he did anything wrong, and no one is saying he should be freed. But as Jews was have to daven and do everything in our power to keep him from being executed. He is a Jewish Neshama!

    8. I dont understand the big deal, yes he is Jewish and yes, that is why we are petitioning for him. Period. The blacks have Al, the Muslims have CAIR, who do we have if not our own. Especially if Midoraisa he is not guilty with Death.

    9. If the execution of Martin Grossman is to be carried out he will be subjected to a cruel and unusual punishment in clear violation of basic humanity and the Constitution of the United States, as he already has been punished with being imprisoned for the last twenty six years. With the impending execution you will be punishing him again by taking his life.

      This double punishment is a true violation of Biblical principles, which states that a person when sentenced to death must be executed without delay in order not to subject the person to additional agony.

      Martin Grossman has been subjected to close to three decades of death agony and should not be subjected to an additional punishment of death. Martin has shown that he has been rehabilitated, remorseful and can be a productive member of society.

    10. I am very torn by this. But, even though he is a Jew it does not excuse the fact that he beat the crap out of this woman and then shot her. It was barbaric and he deserves to be punished. While as a Jew I would like to stand behind him, I just can’t.

      • In jail for life isn’t punished? Why must a borderline retarded who against all odds rehabilitated himself, be put to death 26 years later? No one is arguing the cruelty of the crime, but the mental unstableness of the perpetrator plus his rehabilitation since then.

      • And even then the beis din would look for excuses not be Chayav Missa as it the gemora in Sanhedrin says a beis din that handed down a death sentence once in 70 years was called executioners (a degrading nick name for a Sanhedrin)

        Being a conservative on most issues I would have supported the death penalty, but I always feared that the day will come when a yid will be on death row and we have to do every thing in our power to save a life and practically a yid therefore I always opposed the death penalty

      • Where you get the number 3 from is very odd. “as per Halacha” even odder. It is actually a pussuk mefurash, “AL PI SHNAYIM (2) OI SHLOSHA (3) YUMAS HAMES”.

        But what is even odder than all that is the NOONE corrected you until now. Are we all just a bunch of AMERATZIM who aren’t even MAAVIR SEDRA?

    11. if the aguda and other orgs. are so against capital punishment then why did they wait all these years to oppose it and why onky by a jew. ifits wrong its wrong for everyone and if its right then its right foreveryone

    12. Reform Judaism opposes the imposition of the Death Penalty in America.
      Conservative Judaism opposes the imposition of the Death Penalty in America.
      Reconstructionist Judaism opposes the imposition of the Death Penalty in America.

      What do Orthodox groups in America have to say?

      “[W]e’re not about to take the position of abolition [of the death penalty], because the teaching that, again, the need for implementing justice, particularly with regard to crimes of murder, for society, is a critical component of Jewish teaching as well.”
      –Nathan Diamant, Director of the Institute for Public Affairs of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

      Apparently, we should add, “Except when the killer is Jewish” to that.

      • Dave, it seems you still didn’t get it. Because he is Jewish. that’s why, we his brothers and sister took up his cause, but that does not mean that a non Jewish person who is in the same situation as Grossman should be executed. Both would be canditates for mercy, but a Jewish organization’s job is to lobby for its members.

        • If you want to make sure that Jews are not executed, oppose the Death Penalty. Easy enough. You’ll note that the Catholic Bishops and the Pope have publically opposed this execution, because they are opposed to the imposition of the Death Penalty in all cases.

          But if you oppose the Death Penalty only when Jews are convicted, and support it otherwise, you are either a hypocrite, or a bigot.

          • Again I oppose anyone in Grossman’s situation to be put to death, Jew and non Jew alike; so how am I a hypocrite or a bigot?

            There are two issues here, one the death penalty which I was once for and now am against, and the second is that even if you are for the death penalty, a situation like Grossman is different, and not because he is a Jew, but because the specifics in his case IS so; so begging the governor to execute his right of granting clemency should be desired regardless if Grossman was Jewish or not. It just so happens that this case came to our attention because he is Jewish. Can’t you for once understand?

            • If you are against the Death Penalty, you are not a hypocrite for opposing it in this case.

              If you publically defend the Death Penalty (which the Orthodox leadership in this country have done), then you are a hypocrite for only opposing it when the killer is a Jew.

            • #78 has mentioned three names of Jews, David Berkowitzs, Martin Goldstein and Harry Struass who the orthodox leadership has not made an issue of them. The reason why they are doing it here is because this case IS different, and again not because he is Jewish.

              You are in “law” yourself, and the Jewish community there hired people like you to try to get him off death row. Your colleagues there have used the best arguments they have, so why do you (a lawyer by trade) always here on VIN act as the prosecutor and never as the defense lawyer? Why, why, why?

              Why can you always be a keteigor and never a seneiger? Have you ever heard of Reb Levi Yitzchok of Barditchov?

            • I am not a lawyer, nor have I ever claimed to be.

              I am an educated layman.

              Why am I always the prosecutor here?

              Perhaps because of the immense amount of special pleading that occurs in the comments here. Whatever the issue, if it was a Jew responsible, it couldn’t have been that bad. If a Jew is the victim, it must be anti-semitism.

              Trivializing wickness, and inventing specious anti-semitism are both dangerous. One masks real issues, and the other acts as “crying wolf” that makes it harder to draw attention to real cases of anti-semitism.

              If it is wrong for a Goy, it should be wrong for a Yid. I want us to be treated the same as everyone else. Not better. Not worse. Not by government.

              History teaches us that when the governments treat people differently because of faith, the Jews lose.

              Let me ask you a similar question. Why is it that Orthodox Institutions can mount huge efforts to defend criminals, but never seem to mount them to protect the victims? Compare how Agudath has acted in this case, to how they have acted regarding the victims of child molestation in the Orthodox world.

            • Which Orthodox Institutions have mounted huge efforts to defend criminals? How has the Agudah acted wrong regarding the victims of child molestation in the orthodox world? You have created a bogeyman, but can you be specific?

              Regarding your first comment as to why you always act as the prosecutor here, it’s funny, because I too am an educated layman and the reason I take so much time to comment here is to counter such comments as yours which is the norm here. It’s no chochmah to accuse, it’s a much bigger chochmah to defend.

            • Your post makes no sense.He very clearly pointed out that we choose who defend good ans well ,not evrey jew.And you respnse is well because were pleading for a jew!You failed to answer his point that we don’t defend jews blindly.p.s.none of the askanim called it antisemetism,nor most of the posters.

      • Stop generalizing. There is not simply an uproar because he is jewish. Would we have intervened on David Berkowitzs behalf? Surely not. Did the jewish community voice their opposition to the execution of Martin Goldstein and Harry Struass? Again stop generalizing.

    13. If someone is chayav Meesah but Bais Din can’t kill him because there are no Eydim then he gets Meesah Biyday Shamayim. It looks like the govt executing him would be Meesah Beeyday Shamayim. We have no right to interfere with his Kaparah.

      • I don’t understand why everyone’s pretending to be Hashem! or one of His “helpers”! Whether this person deserves to be killed in Shamayim has nothing to do with us! But it is our duty to try our hardest to save him, to save a Jewish life!! Do you just sit and say if Hashem wants to send me money, He will, and I won’t work? Of course not!!! So why suddenly when it comes to saving a LIFE – a Jewish life – everyone suddenly is deciding if he’s deserving or not????
        If someone’s mother was deathly sick, would they not say Tehillim because she may be decreed to die in Shamayim???

      • Behadeh decovsha derachmona, you have no buisiness meddling in the affairs of God. If you see someone drowning you shouldn’t say that God wants to see him dead, similarly here it is ouur job to try to keep him from death – the REST leave to God.

      • You will be judged yourself, in the same way.

        Besides you are simply stupid and wrong too.

        Anyone who Chayav only Beydey Shomayim, then if and when he does Teshuva his sentence beyedey Shamayim is commuted.

        There is abundance evidence here that he did Teshuva.

    14. This is ridiculous, if this country would’ve executed more people for heinous crimes then our country would be safer and people would think twice before doing something like this.

    15. What would they be saying if the woman victim was Jewish and the murderer was not? Either you are against the death penalty or not. There is an agenda here and I am worried who started it. BTW, Israel does not have capital punishment.

    16. Why the Jewish Community is bending over backwards to protect this wanton murderer is something I do not understand.

      Beware..You are living in a goyish land with goyish rules.

      Dont overstep, for you will end up being the korban.

      Lay low like a worm..

      He is a murderer.

      He deserves nothing less than what he will be getting.

      It will be a painless death…less pain than a tooth ache.

      In fact he will experience nothing of the pain he inflicted on that poor police women.

      Where is your rachmonous for the family of Ms Park?

      He is a murderer and does not deserve our mercy…May his name be erased.

      When you are kind to the cruel you will become cruel to the kind.

      May G-d spare his warped soul.

    17. “We need to follow the laws of the land.”

      Yes we do. The law provides for clemency by the governor. If Grossman shouldn’t receive clemency, then who should? And doesn’t the fact that the entire Torah world has requested clemency mean anything? We’re not talking about one rav, it’s every frum organization out there! We need to follow the law and we need to follow the Torah. The former is followed by pressuring the governor to do the right thing under the law. The latter is followed by listening to all the rabbonim in every community who have requested us to call the governor and request clemency.

    18. Not only did I cover the story 25 years ago, but also I will be a witness at the execution. Florida law requires media must be included in the witnesses. I’ve been a witness at several executions before, including the electric chair as well as lethal injection.

      I must say the electric chair is a much more dramatic way to put a killer to death. Lethal injection seems somewhat antiseptic and calm. The inmate is strapped to a gurney with a needle in the arm like an IV feeding in the hospital. The warden asks the condemned man if he has any last words and then the warden, who is on the telephone with the Governor’s Office nods his head and the chemicals are injected.

      It takes between 6 and 10 minutes and the inmate who looks as if he is going to sleep, stops breathing. A doctor does a quick examination and pronounces the inmate dead. Then a guard announces, “The State of Florida has carried out its sentence of (in this case) against Martin Grossman and then adds – please exit to the left.”

      Often family members of the victim are in the witness chamber. They usually softly weep as the sentence is carried out.

    19. “Grossman had three visitors before the execution. His aunt, Rosa Melton and two friends, Sharon Lioen and Francine Whitehouse came to see the man before he died.” so did they kill him yet or not??

    20. There is an old saying in yiddish, azoi vi es goishtech azoi yiddishhet:Are we all of sudden against punishment? The torah says that if you do a crime you do the time. In peruk avos it says that if there is no LAW there is no ORDER. We have an overproduction of GANOVIM among us for one reason, and that is because we dont punish them, if every ganov in the frum community would do time we would have less machlokus ,less family problems, and less pidun shevium parties. Lets remember that a police officer was murdered overhere, Yes capital punishment is very painfull, but hashem created this world on EMES and the emes has to be protected. Thank you

      • No thanks; If I were you I would be ashamed with a name like Joel. I agree with you that azoi vi es goisht zech azoi yiddishet zech, and your way of thinking iz ingantzen fargoishet.

      • Martin Grossman has served and is “doing the time.” Were you under the impression that he was not? And please, stop invoking Judaism to bolster your predetermined political preferences. This case does not meet the Jewish legal standards for the death penalty, and there is no evidence to suggest that capital punishment acts as a deterrent.

    21. Two mitigating factors in Grossman’s favor. 1) He was only 19, from a broken home, when he committed this brutal killing. 2) There are far worse murderers in Florida not being executed.
      “Kol Hamkayem Nefesh Achas MiYisrael KeIlu Kiyem Plam Maleh”

    22. I called today the aatorney general and the secretary added my name without me giving the name i was asking a stay for. I asked her: aren’t you going to ask me who am i calling for? she said i now already , there were 1000 of calls already about it.
      Lets hope it works.

    23. Please say Tehillim for him. His Hebrew name is:

      מיכאל יחיאל בן מרים שרה – גראסמאן

      My wife (at home) has just sat down all our children (the small ones who have already come home from school) and is explaining to them that a Yid is about to be (ח”ו) executed (Hashem yishereinu), and they are all saying Tehilim for him. I would suggest everyone do the same, because besides that it might help and your Tehillim might break the midas hadin and in this choidesh Adar it can be “venahapoch hu” and the din could be nishapoch; besides that you can teach your children real ahavas Yisroel that you really care for another Yid.

      • And maybe you can spend one minute of your team teaching your children about the true victims in this story, the woman he beat and shot to death, and her poor, grieving mother?

        No? They’re not worthy of your childrens’ thoughts and prayers.

        Shame.

    24. The brain says clinically to execute, but the heart says to spare him since according to Jewish beliefs, he can and supposedly did repent. But, ultimately, we are in golus and we must follow the law of the land; as contrary as it is according to the Jewish view.

    25. every single 1 of u that is pro execution of martin & calls himself a jew should be ashamed of himself even a vatican understands that here is not the write thing to do & those big talmedi chachomem that know the dinim u should go back to kiteh alef & learn “al pi shniem eidem yukim duver” & they have to worn him twice so shut up, wait & should it be ur cousin or friend then ull be screaming right.
      “U SHOULD ALL BE ASHAMED OF URSELF”

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