48 Hours Left: Execution Set For Martin Grossman


grossmanFrom a report in the Miami Herald: Margaret “Peggy” Park thought she had found her dream job. Three years out of Ohio State University and just 26, she was working as a Florida wildlife officer patrolling the lush Brooker Creek nature preserve near Tampa.

Her life ended on Dec. 13, 1984, after she happened upon two teenagers in the woods with a stolen gun. One of them, Martin Edward Grossman, then 19, hit her with a flashlight and, prosecutors said, shot her. He was convicted of first-degree murder.

Grossman, after 24 years on death row, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Florida State Prison near Starke.

“It’s long overdue,” said Margaret Park, the victim’s 79-year-old mother who lives in suburban Columbus, Ohio. “He had very good representation all the way through. I think he’s been treated very fairly by the state of Florida. I don’t take any pleasure in an execution, but it’s time.”

Park said she and her son and daughter plan to come to Florida to witness the execution, which they hope will lead to closure. Her husband died in 2000.

“Every time something has come up (in the case), it has been like a wave coming up and knocking you back down, and you go over all the emotions again,” she said. “We just need to have an end to this coming back and hitting us again.”

On the day she was killed, according to court records, Park came upon the two teenagers shooting the stolen handgun. Grossman, who lived in nearby New Port Richey and was on probation from a burglary conviction, begged Park not to turn him in. He had gotten out of prison back in the summer and didn’t want to return.

As she walked back to her vehicle to call in the information, Grossman – a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier than the diminutive Park – attacked, hitting her 20 to 30 times with her heavy flashlight as she got in the car. She managed to get off an errant shot and disable the other attacking teen with a kick to the groin before Grossman wrested her gun away and shot her in the head.

Grossman and his accomplice, 17-year-old Thayne Taylor, were arrested two weeks later after they talked about it to a friend who went to police. Taylor subsequently confessed.

Grossman was convicted in October 1985, and the jury recommended the death penalty by a 12-0 vote. Taylor was convicted of third-degree murder and served nearly three years in prison before being released into a supervised program.

Rabbi Menachem Katz, who has counseled Grossman for more than a decade, said the inmate is “holding strong.”

“He’s praying three times a day,” Katz said. “He’s continuing on the path of repentance. (He) has a lot of remorse.”

Courts have rejected multiple appeals based on claims including ineffective assistance of counsel during the penalty phase, and diminished mental capacity. Katz said Grossman was young, drunk and on drugs when he committed the murder and doesn’t believe the facts of the case warrant the death penalty.

Gov. Charlie Crist signed the death warrant Jan. 12. The Florida Supreme Court rejected his latest appeal last week.

If he is put to death Tuesday, Grossman will be the 69th inmate executed by Florida since it resumed the death penalty in 1979. The state has killed 24 by lethal injection and 44 in the old electric chair.

{Miami Herald/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Michoel Yechiel ben Miriam Sorah

    Please continue to beseech the Ribono Shel Olam for a yeshuah for Michoel Yechiel ben Miriam Sorah.

    Let us continue to storm Shmayim with out tefilos!

    We must all do out part in this Mitzvah Rabba of Pikuach Nefesh mamish and call the Governor’s office!

    The Gedolim have made the call. Do your duty as a Yid, a Bnei Torah and Bnei Rachamim.

    This type of mitzvah rabba does not present itself (B”H) often.

  2. kol hamatzil nefesh achas beyisroel keilu hitzil kol hooilom kuloi! ACT NOW! We should all pull ourselves together and write as many letters call any person who can help. Please repost details of phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses!

  3. The following letter was sent to the governor from various organizations.
    Dear Governor Crist:
    We write in connection with the tragic case of Martin Grossman, an
    inmate on death row whose execution is currently scheduled for this
    coming Tuesday, February 16, 2010. We are representatives of major
    national Jewish organizations that speak for hundreds of thousands of
    Jewish families across the United States. We join together in this
    letter to plead with you, in the finest tradition of humanitarian
    compassion, to spare Mr. Grossman’s life.
    We are well aware that Mr. Grossman was convicted of a most serious
    crime, the murder of Ms. Peggy Parks, to who’s loved ones our hearts
    go out in deep sympathy. Nothing in our humanitarian plea is intended
    in any way to minimize the horror of the crime Mr. Grossman committed
    or the tragedy of Ms. Parks’ killing.
    At the same time, however, there are several factors in this case that
    militate against imposing the ultimate penalty of capital punishment.
    Mr. Grossman was all of 19-years-old at the time he committed his
    crime. He may have killed, but he is not a killer. He acted under the
    influence of drugs and alcohol. His fatal shooting of Ms. Parks was
    not an act of premeditation, but of panic.
    We further understand that Mr. Grossman has conducted himself as a
    model prisoner since his incarceration some 25 years ago. He has shown
    profound remorse and regret for his actions. 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 his G-d.
    Respectfully, but urgently, we implore you to recognize the important
    humanitarian considerations at stake in this matter, and to spare Mr.
    Grossman’s life by granting him clemency and allowing him to repay his
    debt to the Parks family and to society by serving the remainder of
    his life in prison.
    We would deeply appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you
    face to face, so that we might personally relate to you the depth of
    our concern. Many thanks and all good wishes.

    Rabbi David Zwiebel Executive Vice President Agudath Israel of America
    Rabbi Pesach Lerner Executive Vice President National Council of Young Israel
    Rabbi Steven Weil
    Executive Vice President Orthodox Union
    Rabbi Basil Herring Executive Vice President Rabbinical Council of America
    Rabbi Aaron Lipskar Executive Vice President The Aleph Institute
    Rabbi Moshe Vizel Executive Vice President UJ CARE

    Rabbi David Niederman

  4. I will assume that regardless of the outcome of Mr. Grossman’s situation, which doesn’t look very good at this point, that Matzav will be lobbying state governors whenever a death penalty case comes up. Otherwise, Matzav will have, in my estimation, no credibility.

  5. Send your emails and phone calls to Obama and the Democrat Governors that are legalizing marijuana. Druged Frei Yidden will result in more terrible crimes and destroyed lives. This is why we must vote against Schumer the menuval.

  6. B”H

    Please call the governor’s office at

    and ask Governor Charlie Crist to spare the life of Martin Grossman.


  7. We have to beg the Governor and the clemency board to spare martins life but and of course he must remain in prison for the rest of his life to repay society for destroying an innocent officers life our heart must go out for their family the suffering must be endless but to have martin killed why that is totally futile considering martins psychological and mental state at the time and considering his low iq. At the time of the murder I am just confused why all the so called liberals out there arent lobbying for Martin he is and was at the time of the murder mentally and psychologicaly impaired
    And so the death penalty here is nothing short of revenge which doesnt help anybody, as if the officer will feel better in heaven as a result of this death sentence so why is nothing moving on this there are about 25 hours left and nothings moving I guess liberals are not intrested because Martin is now a religious man

  8. To Comment #8. from Confused and to Comment #9. from Responsible Citizen:

    At http://matzav.com/alan-dershowitz-on-the-martin-grossman-situation, in Comments #s 17, 18, and 19, I explained in detail, that we are not at all against the death penalty. On the contrary, as you Mr. Confused in #8 just pointed out, our Torah HaK’dosha, in many places, REQUIRES the death penalty! And in my comments, I empathetically elaborated on at great length about numerous cases where capital punishment is DESPERATELY NEEDED, and yet — IS NOT BEING GIVEN!!

    What we are saying though, is that THIS PARTICULAR CASE of Mr. Grossman is a case that DOES NOT warrent the death penalty! The reasons why this case of Mr. Grossman does not warrent the death penalty are explained in excellent detail at http://www.chabad.org/blogs/blog_cdo/aid/1118763/jewish/Martin-Grossman-Does-Not-Deserve-To-Die.htm, and at http://www.savemartingrossman.com.

    As you Mr. Responsible Citizen alluded to, unfortunately, there are numerous cases out there that are like Mr. Grossman’s, where capital punishment IS being wrongly ordered for people who should NOT die. Very generally, there are two types of such cases:

    1.) Despite the “findings” and the “convictions” of the court with its judges and juries, the truth is that the convict in question did not do the crime — HE IS NOT THE “BAD GUY”!!

    2.) Very, very, extremely, extremely tragically, the guy DID kill someone; however, it was NOT a purposeful planned pre-mediated murder!

    As just said, there are very many of these cases of people who are being wrongly slated for death, Rachmana Litzlan – G-D Forbid.

    And we all certainly have a grave obligation to vehemently protest such improper convictions and improper sentences and effectively demand that true justice be done.

  9. TO comment #11

    Get your facts straight. Legalizing Marijuana is the least of our worries.No one goes around committing crimes on marijuana. Its a major relaxant and it does not stimulate the brain or body to become full of energy or violence.

    At least by making it legal the police can deal with the serious criminals and deadly murderers or harsh drug dealers. The courts and jails time will be let up from these minor infractions.

    Do you really think by making a substance Illegal it will prevent people from using it or destroying their lives by abusing it? If someone wants to do that they will-regardless. They are beyond the law at that point.

  10. yes, he was young, drunk and on drugs.
    there are many murderers who did not get the death sentence and they were older and not on drugs.
    I want to understand what these people are doing, its really not very fair. What kind of system is this? What happened to the guy who killed Norman Rosenbaum’s killer??

  11. Comment #20. from SLM says: ” . . . there are many murderers who did not get the death sentence and they were older and not on drugs . . . its really not very fair.”


    Every time there is a clear purposeful heinious murder and the wicked fiend who did it gets off without death, it is a terribly grave injustice. It is a grave injustice to the case itself, which desperately clamors for capital punishment; it is a grave injustice to the family of the victim, who are denied this most basic compensation for the horrific cruelity that has been done to them; probably most of all, it is a grave injustice and severely unfair to all of those convicts who ARE given death!!


    There are countless upon countless upon countless cases of clear purposeful heinious murders where — for whatever worthless technicality — the vile perpetutors are let off from death.

    That suddenly now, there are those who want to “get real tough on crime” with Mr. Grossman, is totally unfair to him!