Today, 3 Adar, is one year since the execution of Mr. Martin Grossman, Michoel Yechiel ben Avraham. Because Mr. Grossman did not have family to learn for him, a number of people organized to have Mishnayos learned to serve as an aliyah for his neshama, especially in light of his tragic life and his sincere repentance at the end of his life.
Mr. Grossman was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Margaret “Peggy” Park, a Florida wildlife officer who was shot with her own gun in 1984 when Mr. Grossman was 19 years old.
Mr. Grossman was the 69th person executed in Florida since the death penalty was reinstated in the sunshine state in 1979. He was the 25th by lethal injection.
Prior to Mr. Grossman’s execution, Jews around the world wrote to Florida Governor Crist, asking him for a 60-day stay of execution for Mr. Grossman, but the Governor ignored the requests to allow Grossman to repay his debt to society by serving the rest of his life in prison. Separately, 200 organizations, Jewish and non-Jewish, sent Governor Crist a petition requesting the stay of the execution, in order to properly file an official request for clemency.
The funeral of Mr. Grossman took place at the Nikolsberger Bais Medrash in Monsey and he was buried in the bais hakevaros in Liberty, NY.
It should be noted that the learning of the Mishnayos is not an attempt to apply misplaced accolades or similar descriptions upon the niftar, but rather to simply provide zechuyos for the aliyah of his neshama. Unfortunately, an act of pure hashchasa, the tragic murder of an officer, led to the execution of Mr. Grossman, and the learning of Mishnayos should not detract from the pain of the slain officer’s family in any way.