Florida Supreme Court Refuses To Halt Execution Of Martin Grossman Next Week


florida-supreme-courtThe Florida Supreme Court today refused to halt the execution of a man convicted of murdering a state wildlife officer 25 years ago. The justices rejected Martin Edward Grossman’s claims (see Matzav.com‘s reports here and here) that he wasn’t given a fair chance to prove his trial lawyer had been ineffective nor allowed to present certain mitigating evidence against a death sentence. Grossman’s execution is set for next week.

In a 6-0 unsigned opinion, the justices wrote that his arguments had been raised and rejected in prior appeals.

The high court also ruled Grossman was premature in claiming he may be mentally incompetent.

An insanity claim first must go to Gov. Charlie Crist for a ruling before it can be appealed. Upon being notified that an inmate may be incompetent, state law requires the governor to appoint a panel of three psychiatrists to examine the prisoner before making a decision based on the panel’s recommendations.

A spokeswoman for a state legal office that represents death row inmates said a federal court appeal also is planned.

Grossman, 45, is set for execution Feb. 16 for the 1984 murder of wildlife officer Margaret “Peggy” Park, 26, in a wooded area of Pinellas County.

Park was shot with her own gun after confiscating a stolen handgun Grossman, then 19, and another teen had been shooting in the woods.

Grossman, who was on probation for a burglary, beat Park with her flashlight as she picked up her radio microphone to call the sheriff’s office, prosecutors said. They said she drew her gun and fired a shot that missed before Grossman wrestled it from her and shot her once in the back of the head.

Chief Justice Peggy Quince did not participate in the ruling.

{Miami Herald/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. signing petitions wont help. we all need to call the florida governer’s office and ask for a clemency hearing and to save Mr. Grossman from death. If the govorners office gets thousands of calls he will feel some form of pressure if he wants to be reelected.

  2. What Gov. Crist sees is that Jews are saying the life of one lowlife Jew is worth more than a goyish police officer. He has never heard these same people making efforts for anyone else’s life on death row. Even Matzav and the other frum newspapers and web sites are paricipating in this Chilul Hashem, which is not a promotion of Torah Law, but a negation of it! See the last Siman in Sefer Nachal Chaim to understand why the Torah is against efforts to save this man.

  3. This is not something we should involve ourselves with. Mr. Grossman has 26 years of opportunities to overturn his sentence. There has to be finality here.

  4. the Pri Megadim writes specifically that we go out to save every single Yid unless he is a mumar L’Hach’is. In addition, the Chasam Sofer writes that if according to the Torah Law the person is not chayav Misah then we save him in any case.
    Besides that’s why we have gedolim and Reb Chaim Epstien said the everyone should call.

  5. Rabbosai, the Governor’s office has been inundated with phone calls and e-mails. We MUST continue this effort of pikuach nefesh mamish.

    Pikuach Nefesh doche kol haTorah kula.

    The Gedolei Yisroel shlita are urging every Yid to do his utmost.

    Please call and e-mail.

  6. Why did she shoot him first if he didn’t attack her yet? How can that be premeditated if he shot her only afterwards if he had a gun to begin with? Who is the idiot in the state that issued this 19 year old boy with a mental capability of a 14 year old at the time of the shooting? How can a testimony be used of a convict who admitted that the testimony he gave were not exactly true? How could it have been premeditated if he was on drugs? Why is he considered more dangerous then other criminals?

  7. Maybe you should focus your prayers on the victim’s family. They lost a 26 year old daughter and sister in a horrible way. Pray that they can somehow have peace of mind.

  8. Having investigated firsthand all recorde pertaining to this case.

    Mr. Grossman upon advice from his counsel was seen by a defense chosen psychiatrist. Psychiatrist reported that he his testimony would not be beneficial to his client. This means that upon examination of Mr. Grossman it was determined that Mr. Grossman understood that murder was wrong but did it anyway. He was found sane at the time of the murder and competent to stand trial for his actions.

  9. The more and more comments I read from people who wouldn’t give a hoot if an innocent gentile was going to be executed, the less and less I am concerned about Martin’s fate.

  10. Shameful that so many anti-Jews post on this site.

    #3 SG, 4 Responsible, 8 Enough and 10 Mandy, are definitely not Jewish as they do not have a Jewish heart nor the Jewish character of rachmanim.

  11. “Shameful that so many anti-Jews post on this site.”

    There are two important points you fail to take into account:

    1. Freedom of speech
    2. The internet is open to anybody on the face of the planet.

    If you cannot cope with this, tough.

  12. Anonymous #11 tells us that “#3 SG, 4 Responsible, 8 Enough and 10 Mandy, are definitely not Jewish as they do not have a Jewish heart nor the Jewish character of rachmanim”.

    And just who are you to judge your fellow human beings, Anonymous?

    Kindly confine yourself to the matter in hand: whether or not Grossman should be executed for murder.

    Nothing more, nothing less.

  13. Most frume yidden, anxious to establish their “anti-liberal” credentials, ape some non-Jews in supporting the death penalty. Until, of course, it’s a Yid facing execution. Then, of course, it’s all for pikuach nefesh.

    If we have no objection to a non-Jew being executed after a fair trial, how can we object if the convicted person is a Yid? Goyim are required, as one of the seven mitzvos of Bnei Noach, to establish a justice system. There doesn’t seem to be any question that this person actually killed the officer. The only doubt is whether he knew what he was doing, and a psychiatrist found him competent.

    The non-Jewish government here is following the commandments of their own Torah, which states, as ours does, “lo tirzach.”

    If we don’t like the possibility of Jews being executed, then the only solution is to oppose the death penalty for everybody, and see that “life without parole” really is.

    I feel sorry for the officer and her family. I feel sorrier for Yidden who don’t understand that what they are doing will just cause more anti-Semitism, and when there ch’v really is a problem of injustice, will just cause mainstream society to dismiss us with a “they’re just looking after their own.”

  14. Contact the Governor!! I called the Executive office of the governor this AM.

    If anyone wants to help with this really big mitzvah of saving a fellow jew please write and call the Office of Governor Charlie Crist.
    Address-State of Florida
    The Capitol
    400 S. Monroe St.
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

    * Citizen Services Hotline: (850) 488-4441
    * Executive Office of the Governor Switchboard: (850) 488-7146
    [Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time]

    Fax: (850) 487-0801

  15. Everyone who disagrees with you, number 11, is not Jewish? How original.

    I bet that kind of logic has really persuaded many people to change their minds. Think like me or else…some anonymous internet poster will say you are not Jewish.

  16. First of all….Crist is not running again. So get your facts straight.

    Second, why if he was found guilty should he not be executed like the rest on death row?

    Intoxication is not a defense. Stop talking like lawyers when you are not.

    It has been 25 years. Too long for all involved

  17. I would have thought that saving a jew is an obligation regardless of the emotions involved and since every murderer awaiting his death sentence has a right for people to stick up for him and try to save him then why if jews do it should that be a problem maybe we are planting our antisemitisim by giving anti semites an excuse to attack us for wat is in reality our right and obligation by the torah its called kul yisroel ereivim zeh luzeh. now eivah doesnt apply here cuz a case which may lead to extremists voicing verbal accusations doesnt override pekuach nefesh..if your brother was waiting on the death row and you tried to win his case you wouldnt be accused of sticking up only for jews and being believed to neglect non jews and even if a criminals thousand cousin were there in court to get him off the hook it would not be questioned

  18. Stop promoting stupidity and ignorance of the Torah. Every call to Gov. Crist’s office to spare a murderer, who has exhausted any and all legitimate Taanos is just another Chilul Hashem. Halacha Pesuka!

  19. #11-Sorry I am very much Jewish. A member of a Sephardi Bait Knesset in Chicago, religious school teacher on the weekends at a Conservative synagogue, & proud dati family man. For the record, I asked my Rav a sheayla on this issue and he wasn’t sure if there is any chiyul for Jews to intervene on behalf of Mr. Grossman. He’s not sure Chacham Ovaida, or Rav Ben Zion-Uziel, two great Sephardi poskim, would necessarily view saving Grossman as Pikuach Nefesh.

    Secondly, I have to agree with others who are astounded by the fact that some of Grossman’s most vocal supporters have never spoken out against capital punishment when applied to others in our country. You can’t have it both ways and expect to enjoy any credibility.

  20. I agree with Mandy, #10. If you don’t care about the others on Death Row, I don’t care about Martin Grossman. It’s baloney that his IQ is 77. So what if he was intoxicated or on drugs — would you use that to excuse a non-Jew? Enough already. You voted for candidates that support the Death Penalty. You don’t care when black people die by lethal injection. Now maybe you’ll think about things when you vote for candidates that support the Death Penalty. If Martin Grossman teaches us anything, it’s that Yidden can be cold-blooded killers, also.

  21. The death penalty is controversial enough due to the very probable aspect of human error. If used, it is certainly meant for sadistic killers with no conscience, that are only a dangerous burden to society.
    Martin Grossman does not fit into this category at all. If you read the letter to Governor Crist from the Aleph Institute you can see that this case a prime example of an unwarranted death sentence.
    They are even of the opinion that if Mr. Grossman were tried in a criminal court today, he would not have received the death sentence. The trial from the start was carried out in a very questionable and unjust manner, omitting the most basic requirement of the Law. Only 3 out of 33 witnesses were chosen, and a critical witness and fellow inmate of Mr. Grossman provided a very disturbing affidavit that states that his testimony was not completely true and that he expected, and received, consideration for enhancing what he really knew and what he actually heard from Martin Grossman. There are other countless flaws in this case.
    Once again, as documented, and as the above mentioned letter points out, Martin Grossman is not of the wicked, heinous caliber that the death penalty is here for.
    All the Rabbanim endorse this position of advocating for clemency and it is written that saving a life is like saving the world.

  22. Hey ! all u jew haters who believe he deserves the death penalty. What about all the countless terrorist and enemies of the us i’d like to know they’re position in the death row ? Huh ???? Ill tell u why he was sentenced to death Because he messed with a cop !!!! No justice no nothing ! when u mess with a cop the whole justice system crumbles ! Now tell me is this Fair ?!!! Id like to see some of the above posters on the +++++ row! (fill in the blank)

  23. Martin, what he did was wrong! However, I have mixed emotions on this whole thing! Wish I could contact Martin or his family. Martin and his family were the first to welcome our family to the community. His mother and father loved him more than anything. He taught me how to fish in our backyard. He was a friend to me, despite the bad things he did. We had a lot in common regarding our fathers both being sick in wheel chair required our moms to care for them, plus us as children to help out as well. Martin I wish people could have known the Martin I knew when we moved to Florida when I was in the 6th grade….my thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and the victims family as well

  24. I don’t believe #27 I am a “Jew Hater” because I question the wisdom of lobbying Gov Crist on behalf of a convicted murderer, who has 26 years to explain why his death sentence should be overturned.

  25. From http://www.deathpenaltyreligious.org

    “A Sanhedrin that puts one person to death once in seven years is called destructive. Rabbi Eliezer ben Azariah says: Or even once in seventy years. Rabbi Tarfon and Rabbi Akiba say: Had we been the Sanhedrin, none would ever have been put to death.” Mishnah Makkot, 1:10 (2nd Century, C.E.)

    “A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.” Pope John Paul II, January 27, 1999, St. Louis, Missouri

  26. I am “generally” pro capital punishment. I was initally not going to be involved here but first checked with my VERY RESPECTED cousin Joseph (who is with Chabad) and he CLEARLY explained this to me. He had not seen the petition until I alerted him.
    One thing that is being overlooked: HOW IS THIS MURDER PREMEDITATED? someone please explain?
    I don’t see where he set out to kill / or by going to the park thought it’ll lead to a possible dangerous confrontation (say like robbing a bank) WHERE’S THE PREMEDITION ?? As for me, I’m going with cousin Joe who knows the law. On Wednesday Feb 17 my proudly Jewish conscience will be clear.

  27. I am appalled and disturbed at many of the comments in this post. If it isnt that it’s the Jews fault for voting for those who would instate the death penatly then its a self righteous proclamation that a sinner deserves to die or worst of all anonymous who said that its a chillul hashem to stand up for a Jew by beseeching the Governor Of Florida to revoke his death warrant for 60 days in order to have a clemency period and possible fair trial.
    I am really sad and sorry so many people are so far from Hashem and Torah as is apparent from these comments.
    May we see a yeshua for Michoel Yechiel ben Miriam Sara and all of Klal Israel as we have always been zocheh to see niissim in the Month of Adar!

  28. dayan ha emet. it was not premedited
    murder 1 and he had diminishhed capacity. crist acted like a coward
    in not granting a reprieve. i support the death penalty but not in
    this case. i will stand up for truth
    whether its a jew , a black,a
    white guy or whatever. the whole system is broken. corporate mamzers
    kill more humans than htlr stalin
    mao etc combined. corporate bailouts
    are a million times as much as poor
    welfare cheats. good try. this is
    as rotten as sodom. the billionaires
    set the stage for the poor to turn to
    violent crime. its later than you think. take yom kippur seriously b”h