Rabbi Zwiebel: Grossman’s Execution “Has Hit Our Community Very Hard”


chaim-dovid-zweibel-1An Orthodox Jewish organization that had been among several urging Florida Governor Charlie Crist to spare the life of Martin Grossman, and pursuing possible legal avenues to stay implementation of the death penalty, expressed “deep anguish” over his execution last night. Mr. Grossman was convicted of killing Ms. Margaret Parks, a Florida Wildlife Officer, in 1984, when he was 19 years old. In advocating for his life to be spared, the Jewish groups acknowledged the horror of his crime and expressed their deepest sympathy for the family of his victim. At the same time, they called attention to the fact that the murder was an act of panic, not premeditation; that Mr. Grossman’s low IQ and impaired mental state were not given proper recognition in his death sentence; and that Mr. Grossman has not only conducted himself as a model prisoner since his incarceration some 25 years ago but showed profound remorse and regret for his actions.

“The tragic news out of Florida,” said Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Agudath Israel of America’s executive vice president, “leaves us feeling deep anguish and sorrow.

“Mr. Grossman’s execution has hit our community very hard. He was a fellow Jew and so we saw him as a brother. Countless members of our community had telephoned, e-mailed and faxed the Governor’s office pleading that Mr. Grossman’s sentence be commuted to life in prison. Unfortunately, our hopes were dashed.

“There are many lessons one might draw from this terrible tragedy, but in the end we acknowledge ‘Boruch Dayan Ha’emes’ – ‘Blessed be the true Judge’.”

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. The first lesson to be drawn is that if states are able to give the death penalty to peole with diminshed mental capabilities, perhaps we, as the nation who should be the moral leaders of the world, should work for the abolition of the death penatly entirely, not just for those who happen to be Jewish.

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  3. 1) One of the lessons are; avoid getting in trouble with law enforcement or the justice system for even minor things because its really hard to navigate the Justice system you should come out a winner.

    2) I am not sure sitting in jail for life is better than being executed.

    3) We shouldn’t have expected he should be saved, it was like praying for a major “nes” to happen.

  4. to draw an analogy from the midrash on the megilla, that to Gov. Crist was Chosomo B’dam
    he’d look like a complete fool to retract it (not that he doesn’t now to the frum community)
    Lets not forget either that every single goy in FL besides those against the death penalty in principal wanted him dead….

  5. but he was not a stable person. No need to kill him, it would have been enough to be imprisoned, but right, he was a cop killer and that was what did him in. sorry for the entire thing.
    we need moshiach NOW

  6. What about some sympathy for the mother of the slain officer? How does she feel about our community making him out to be a martyr, calling him a tzadik?

  7. Grossman did teshuvah and his death was mechaper. Now I read today that he was not on drugs when he murdered the Park Officer. The Governor was in an impossible position. We should all learn a bitter lesson from this. Let us all prevent children in our communities from going off the derech from where they can fall to the lowest levels of tumah.

  8. “OUR” community? You mean our community has many murderers of peaceful officers who lie on the ground and are killed in cold blood? How many low IQ, I mean “diminished mental capacity” individuals, in our community would do this? Stupid doesn’t mean not knwoing right from wrong. The Torah gave bnei noach 7 mitzvos. One was establishment of judicial systems. Another was execution of murderers. It seems that Florida did EXACTLY what Hashem mandated them to do. But to call a murderer who allegedly became a baal tshuva because his lawyer knew it would be a great ploy? Gimme a break.

  9. Care? YES we care. Tzadik? Rather a strong word, what do you know about him to say that? Poor soul would be more appropriate. Tehai Misaso Kaparah.

  10. People on both sides here are missing an important point. The Martin Grossman A”H who was executed last night was not the same person who committed the crime 25 years ago. He was completely changed and felt great remorse for his crime. Had he been releasd from prison, he would have been an upstanding citizen. The only reason to carry out the death sentence is on a person who is a threat to society. Many criminals in jail become hardened and are more of a threat than when they were first arrested. This was NOT the case with Martin. He became a new person and a true Baal Teshuva. May he enjoy a lichtige Gan Eden.

  11. very sad… Let’s turn our frustration and energy to help Rubashkin and Pollard. They both have been through more than enough. Can anyone contatc the organizers and let them know that we will participate and do what can?

  12. We may know that, but we have to tread carefully, especially as people are trying to do something in his zechus l’ilui nishmaso.

    We have to be very, very careful about how we use his name in such efforts, because frankly, to some people there will be no difference between a Martin Grossman memorial fund and the Marwan Barghouti school for Yuppies (Young Upstanding Palestinians).