Crist Says He Was Swamped With Support For Martin Grossman, But “Facts” Prevailed

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flroida-gov-charlie-cristBefore Martin Edward Grossman was put to death by lethal injection at 6:17 p.m. yesterday, he said, ¬†“I would like to extend my heartfelt remorse to the victim’s family. I fully regret everything that occurred¬†that night. Everything that was done, whether I remember everything or not, I accept responsibility.”

Grossman then said Shema and closed his eyes as a three-chemical cocktail began flowing into his body just after 6 p.m.. His chest stopped moving at 6:04 p.m. and a doctor pronounced him dead 13 minutes later.

Grossman was condemned for shooting and killing wildlife officer Margaret “Peggy” Park, 26, on Dec. 13, 1984. Park’s 79-year-old mother went against a doctor’s suggestion and traveled from Ohio to attend the execution, as did other family members.

The execution came after a whirlwind day in which death penalty opponents and religious leaders – Jewish and Catholic – pleaded with Gov. Charlie Crist to halt the execution.

Crist said his office was the target of “almost an outcry” of nearly 50,000 e-mails, phone calls and letters from people urging him to spare Grossman’s life. “We’ve been swamped,” Crist said.

“I’m getting calls from people who are asking me to stay this execution,” Crist said, “and then once I inquired, ‘Do you know what the facts are?’ I find that they unfortunately do not . . . Sometimes the story can almost get ahead of the facts.”

Crist said he was standing on a Miami International Airport runway tarmac Tuesday afternoon when a close friend of his wife called his cell phone and asked him to halt the execution. Crist said she changed her mind after he described how the killing occurred. The woman, whom Crist declined to identify, said, according to the governor: “I’m glad you shared what the real facts are. I’m sorry to have taken your time.”

Crist said a group of rabbis and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz were among those urging the execution be stopped. “The sincerity of their message is without question,” Crist said. “I’ve reached the conclusion that justice must be done.”

In a speech to small business owners that was mostly about the state of Florida’s economy, Crist, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, went into great detail on the circumstances of the case, including describing the killer as “blowing her brains out.”

The governor said he spoke Monday with former Gov. Bob Martinez, who signed Grossman’s initial death warrant two decades ago. “I was just seeking his advice, because it’s always a good idea,” Crist said.

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 …”

{TampaBay.com/Matzav.com Newscenter}

24 COMMENTS

  1. All i can say: The Gov would have been even more careful by signing the bill if Martin Grossman was his own child. Hashem will repay him one day and I’m sure he will have a box seat in Gehanim.

  2. After a very ”carefull review” and speaking to every rabbi requesting a meeting oh hu of course and justice was done right what justice you wouldnt speak to anybody who even did as much as ask a meeting with you. I wish the Governor could put his hand on his heart and say I am 100 percent certain that martin preempted this murder with the full mental capacity knowing what he was doing and I wish the Governor could explain to both sides of this tragedy how 26 years since this tragedy occured only now after martin suffered for so many years peggys revenge came about only now and make no mistake Governor this was an act of revenge which is in reality nothing short of childishness suitable for arab dictators like achmadeninjad because martins iq level and 26 years suffering did not match the punishment but revenge oh yes it is

  3. It seems jewish blood is becoming cheap and if we dont swarm the Governor with emails and express in a respectfull but assertive way how we feel over this well then he will say oh great pressures over who cares its only a jew and jews gotta be judged harshly regardless of hard evidence and proof of their mental capacity

  4. After a very ”carefull review” and speaking to every rabbi requesting a meeting oh hu of course and justice was done right what justice you wouldnt speak to anybody who even did as much as ask a meeting with you. I wish the Governor could put his hand on his heart and say I am 100 percent certain that martin preempted this murder with the full mental capacity knowing what he was doing and I wish the Governor could explain to both sides of this tragedy how 26 years since this tragedy occured only now after martin suffered for so many years peggys revenge came about only now and make no mistake Governor this was an act of revenge which is in reality nothing short of childishness suitable for arab dictators like achmadeninjad because martins iq level and 26 years suffering did not match the punishment but revenge oh yes it is

  5. What bothered me was that his email didn’t contain even one little kernel of regret. How about just “I’m sorry I disappointed thousands of people”?

  6. To all that say Crist will pay in an election probably voted for George Bush who as governor of Texas killed more people than any other states combined

  7. The fact that he ignored all the calls, emails, etc… is very troubling in itself. If he is a PUBLIC servant and us the taxpayers pay his salary to represent US, then he has shirked his duties and should be fired over it! People forget that EVERY elected official – regardless of level of position, is hired and paid for by US the taxpayer. Why mindless people keep voting in again and again these do nothing politicians who go against our will is troubling. Uninformed voters are extremely dangerous. I was always against the get out the vote campaigns when there is NO ONE representing our best interests. WE MUST IMPOSE TERM LIMITS on EVERY political position!

  8. I read a statement from the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation that I thought was very thoughtful and cogent (unlike a lot of other stuff I’ve been reading the last week). It made a strong case for understanding HOW people could think otherwise, yet should still take positive action in support of MG.

    Can we get it through our heads that there IS another side, that it is extremely imprudent and impolitic to crudely castigate prominent politicians?

    Let’s channel all this energy in tefilos for people in prison who still need yeshuos, like Gilad ben Aviva Shalit and all the MIAs, Yehonasan ben Malka Pollard, Shalom Mordechai ben Rivka, the boys in Japan, et al?

    As well as supporting the people in the trenches, who are dealing with tinokos shenishbu, kids off the derech or on a serious detour, etc. so that no one has to go through what MG did.

    I’ve made this point already, but I think it bears repeating.

  9. We must remember that the Torah mandates the death penalty for murder.

    This murder case is especially notorious since the victim was a police officer. A review of the pertinent facts
    reveals a brutal murder.

    A civilized society cannot allow
    criminal sociopaths to gun down police
    officers. Laxity in this regard will only
    engender anarchy.

    Baruch Dayan Emes.

  10. The jury in the Timothy McVeigh case found some mitigating factors, they were just grossly outweighed by the aggravating ones.

    This case is different. No one seems to able to find any mitigating factors. Was Martin Grossman’s crime more severe than McVeigh’s not likely. His lower social status, simply made him expendable.

  11. Everybody is making it out like they killed Martin Grossman because he was a Jew. No because whatever the circumstances were he killed a cop and he had to pay the price. It’s not like we are dealing with a Dreyfus case. This man killed someone. The only thing one can say is that he paid the price for his actions and he for sure got some kind of tikun through his suffering in this world. But to make this man in to some kind martyr is just not right.

  12. I’m in israel, and davened for Martin at the Koisel, I hope my tefillois help Martin Hy”d go to gan eden and should have an aliyah neshomoh.

  13. I got knassed for not coming to shacharis on the day of the execusion because the mesivta davened many kapitlach after davening.

  14. Dovid Helfman said the tora punishes death by death” The talmid says in sanhedrin that: a sanhedrin (high rabbinical court) that killed even 1 person in 70 years is called “a murdering court” u can translate the tora like a girl but. The argument here was that we here have a system & it wasn’t followed properly 1 the murder was not premeditated 2 his metal status was not taken in consideration 3 the fact that her brains were blown out doesn’t prove he was evil’er 4 what would u say if your son finds himself (chas v’shalom) in a situation would u say the same ? Shame on u.

  15. Dear “Rabbi Dovid Helfman” when The “Torah” mandates death for murder doesn’t include people that are mentally unstable as we know “cheresh(deaf), shota(mentally ill) & katan(underage kids) are puter mikol ha’torah kulah.
    the argument was that mr. grossman was not as you (unashamed as a rabbi) call him a “criminal sociopath” instead he was a yosum(orphan) from his father as a child and wandered around from family to family, he was also on drugs at the time, and his he is mentally unstable with a very low I.Q. who out of panic and fear that he would go back to jail commited a heanus crime, but the vicious crime was not premeditated he didnt go out to shoot her he was scared and stupid and unfourtunatly and yes he was to be punished, but give him life in prison, but why did he deserve to die, it seems that you try to portray yourself as a righteous rabbi but you are very wrong, I’ll end with this thought: yom kippur is our holyist day of the year a day we have extra restrictions, but if there is a sofek of pikuach nefesh for any jew any rule of yom kipur can and must be broken, so remember that the most valuable thing is a Jewish life, and even by the Torah death is a last resort, and for all amie haratzim who bring up “eye for an eye” it doesn’t mean actual it means if you knock out someones eye you must pay the value of losing an eye not that your eye will actually be plunked because you did it to another person. may hashem shine some wisdom into you,and save your soul( then you may call yourself gantzeman(whole-man). and please next time when you write an offensive comment like this Think!

  16. Re #22 “Sanhedrin which kills 70 years….”

    There is another version–every 7 years.

    But you do not understand the literature. The reference is to a society that has low homicide rates.

    However, when violence is rampant,
    government has a duty to safeguard the
    populace against violent sociopaths.

    “The argument here was we have a system
    and it was not followed.”

    Not true: Grossman was given almost
    25 years to cite mitigating
    circumstances. Don’t mislead anyone into
    thinking that there was a rush to justice.
    (You’re no longer in elementary school.)

    The incompetence plea was considered
    and rejected. The perpetrator’s monstruous
    assault and slaughter of a dedicated
    policewoman was an act of horrific
    barbarism.

    #23 “Torah mandate for death penalty
    does not include those who are shoiteh
    kheiresh—mentally ill…”

    Yes, that is correct. But you
    fail to understand that the perpetrator
    in this case was found to be competent.
    (The narrative you provide is
    contrary to the overwhelming evidence which
    showed that he was aware of his actions.)

    We live at a time when officers of the
    law risk their lives to safeguard society.
    Your ridiculous remarks show that you
    are totally out of touch with reality.
    Those who sought to commute the sentence
    to life imprisonment acted within the
    legal system. Others simply asked the
    governor for a 60-day stay to study new
    evidence. There was no new evidence.

    You should think before posting your
    misguided comments.( You barely know
    Chumash.)

    Police officers risk their lives to
    protect good people against criminals.
    There must be law and order as taught
    in the Ethics Of the Fathers Chapter 111,
    Mishnah 11:

    “Pray for the welfare of the government. Without fear thereof, people would
    eat one another alive.” In the United States,
    we have a Constitutional republic which allows
    its citizens basic freedom as long as the
    laws are obeyed. Most important, violent crime cannot be tolerated.

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