Report: Florida Rabbis Seek To Prevent Jew’s Execution


rabbi-menachem-katzYitzchak Benhorin reportsFlorida rabbis in recent days have been working to prevent the execution of Martin Grossman, 45, who was convicted of murdering a female police officer in a nature reserve 26 years ago.

A petition submitted to Florida Governor Charlie Crist pleaded with him to have pity on Grossman, who is scheduled to be executed with a lethal injection in nine days.

Grossman was 19 when he and his 17-year-old friend traveled to an isolated nature reserve to fire a stolen handgun. The two were approached by wildlife officer Peggy Park, 26, who asked Grossman for his weapon license.

Grossman pleaded with her to let him go, as he was violating his probation for a burglary charge, but she refused. When she tried to call for help over the radio, Grossman hit her 20 to 30 times, and when she tried to reach her weapon and fired one shot, Grossman shot her in the back of the head.

Grossman’s friend, Thayne Taylor, served three years in prison for his involvement in the incident, while Grossman himself was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

Grossman’s lawyer appealed to the Florida Supreme Court in a bid to stop the execution, saying that his client did not undergo a psychiatric evaluation during his trial.

Last week, Governor Crist signed Grossman’s death warrant, after years of legal discussions. Now the Aleph Institute – a rabbinical institution caring for Jewish prisoners – is attempting to convince the government to hold a hearing and pardon Grossman.

Rabbi Menachem Katz, who visited Grossman in jail over the past 15 years, says that the Jewish prisoner has reformed and regrets his actions. If the sentence is implemented, Grossman will be the 25th person to be executed in the state of Florida in the past decade.

{Ynet/ Newscenter}


  1. Who are the rabbis (the one’s not affiliated with jews-for-mamash)?

    I saw notes in Shull this week supposedly signed by the Skulen Rebbe and Rav Weiss from the Eidah, but this group has a history of affixing signatures. I wonder if Matzav can verify it (or the ommission a verification)?

  2. Unless he has an argument left in Florida law, it may not be advisable for the rabbis to put so much effort into saving him. Would they do the same had the killer been a goy and the police officer a Jew? It is unfortunate that the states allow so much time to pass from the crime to the execution. He has spent more time in prison than some murderers who were only sentenced to prison. But the point is, most frum Jews are in favor of a death penalty. We can’t have it both ways where we want an exception for Jew. It seems there is no doubt he did the crime, it makes no difference that the officer was going to report him despite his plea she should let him go. Had he sat quietly and been arrested for his parole violation, maybe he would have sat for another year. He made the decision to kill her when he grabbed her flashlight and began beating her. I must admit, she was pretty foolish to turn her back on to big guys when she was alone in the middle of the forest. Still, those guys had no excuse to murder a law officer doing her job. L’Maan Yishmu V’yiru.

    This exact subject has been treated L’Halacha in Sefer Nachal Chaim.

    Tehay Misaso Kapara Al Kol Avonosov.

  3. I don’t think she turned her back on them. I think she was desperately calling for help when Grossman beat her. She was covered in horrible cuts when they found her body, plus shot in the head. A 26 year old girl.

    I’m amazed that people say, “He’s served 26 years already, why should he pay more?” The reason he served 26 years is that his lawyers have kept him in court with appeal after appeal. Now there is nothing left to appeal.

    I agree that the Jews who want the Death Penalty can’t complain that a killer is put to death. Jewish or non-Jewish, it’s the way these things go. If they want to fight the existence of the Death Penalty, they should. And they should fight for others on Death Row, including some how didn’t commit such a heinous crime. Or people whose guilt is in doubt.

  4. Although I support the death penalty in principal, I am opposed to this execution as I was ooposed to the execution of Karla Fay Tucker, a woman in Texas who was executed 14 years after her conviction of a heinous murder. By that time she had become a reformed prisoner and a devout notzria. The problem is that decades later the state is killing an entirely different person-someone totally different than the one who committed the crime. What purpose is seved by the execution at that point? Retribution? Against who? Deterrence? Its 15 years too late!! May the RBSO protect us from a state that kills for no purpose.

  5. What do our poskim say?

    That pikuach nefesh doche kol haTorah kula.

    I wonder if Matzav can verify it.

    The Gedolei Yisroel shlita are behind it.

    it may not be advisable for the rabbis to put so much effort into saving him.

    It may be advisable to keep your krumkeit to yourself to reduce your penalty acher meah v’esrim.

    Would they do the same had the killer been a goy and the police officer a Jew?

    No. The are rightfully doing it only because he is a Yid.

  6. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I read that this grossman has an iq of 77. If it is true and he was 19 years old at that time of the incident, .77 x 19=14.6 years old. He should have been tryed as a minor and not an adult.

  7. In a jewish court when a death penalty is assigned it is for a kipporah for the person why can’t this be the same? Why did everyone wait 25 years to say anything about this case?

    and if it was the other way around a goy killing the jew what would we do in that case?

  8. Are the Beis Yosef and Ram”a not good enough “Poskim” for you #1&3??
    Do you need your “gadol” to have to tell you about the Mitzva of Pidyon Shevuyin also?
    Do you need them to tell you about Ahavas Yisroel?
    Does he have to be Heimishe Yid selling you Chulent in order to merit your ahavas yisroel?

  9. “Would they do the same had the killer been a goy and the police officer a Jew?”

    Call me a cynic, but somehow I think not.

  10. #12, Since you answered first and went into degrading second, I will respond.

    I do need a rov to clarify the psak, which is the never-changing word-of-HaShem. Quite clearly, those who distributted the papers felt the same.

    Ahavas Yisroel does not cause me nor paermit me to violate the Rotzon HaShem. BTW, the only reason we have (or should have) ahavas Yisroel is since, HaShem commanded it! What HaShem wants is clearly defined by the respectable Poskim, not ascribed to any sects who have a history of misquoting, as well as, fabricating “psokim”.

    [Point to consider: Does ahavas Yisroel apply even to those who sell cholent?]

  11. tshuvah …..mavirin es roa hagzero that is the halocho by “every yid”, and whoever doesn’t think so should check out their identity. what whould you say if it were you, viahavto lireiacho “komoicho” i don’t think you whould just sit there and wait for them to come give you the injection and listen to people say “tihei meesoso kaparoso”. “al todin es chaveircho ad shetageea limkomo”, look what the baal hatanya says on that. can you emagen if the rbs”o whould c”v pasken for you what you for every aveiro (no matter in public or in seceret) what you pasken for this person? just for thinking otherwise one needs to ask a godel how to do tshuva for writing like this in public. instead, everyone should help this yid do tshuva in full and whoever has a yad in that has a yad in all of his mitzvos and maasim tovim to come. so let’s all get together “b’achdus” and think of ways to help this yid, what ever it takes, and hashem will help us all, omein