Gov Crist: We Received Nearly 50,000 Calls & Letters

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Florida Governor Crist said Tuesday that 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.   

“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 …”

(Source: http://tampabay.com/)


62 COMMENTS

  1. so why did not the gov actualy meet with the leading rabbis if he was so convinved of the execution.

    if over 50,000 people swamped his office could he not find the respect to discuss with these leading rabbis who represent a major protion of these 50,000.

    the gov email regarding the premeditated cover up after the crime is not an excuse for execution which is usualy reserved for premeditation leading up to the crime.

  2. “Do you know what the facts are?”
    Mr. Christ, we know the facts. The facts are that you ignored “nearly 50,000 e-mails, phone calls and letters from people urging him (YOU) to spare Grossman’s life”. SO STOP TALKING! “We’ve been swamped,”. Good! YOU DESERVE IT!

  3. People of Florida must do everything for this guy’s political career to end as a governor. He must not be allowed to progress to Senate!! It is obvious he does not represent the people but ignores them.

  4. Totally rehabilitated?
    What proof is there that if he had been freed he would not have gone back to
    drugs and murder?

    He tried to cover up the murder and changed his tires to try and fool, the police and he buried the gun.

    Dina D’ Mahchusa Dina and I have not heard that all (or even most)Gedolim had said, that he must be saved from the execution that took place today.

  5. none of the reasons that are being repeated gives cause for the governor to have pardoned him reason 1 because he got 40,000 phone calls. what kind of reason is that? reason 2 he was on alcohol and drugs. let me understand , if someone kills someone when he is sober then he deserves to die but if he is on alcohol or drugs then lets be lienient on him. totally ridiculous reason 3 he was a minor . Since when is 19 a minor? reason 4 he did teshuva wow I never knew it was possible to do teshuva on retzicah. would beis din pater because someone did teshuva

  6. so, if 50,000 people want something, then what they want must be the correct action?
    hmmm…. i’m sure that there were at least 50,000 vocal nazi supporters during the holocaust. so does that make the killing of six million jews acceptable?
    if a nazi murderer is found sixty years after the fact, should we assume that he too, has been rehabilitated and should be set free or spared punishment?

  7. The Governor is really cruel. I spent days & hours writing emails,faxing and calling in ,I heard he even got more than 40,000 calls today , which didn’t even impact his decision to the slightest bit. More than 35,000 petitions were signed! Someone that is inflexible and uncompassionate like that isn’t cabable of holding a high position. What did he have to lose by giving him another day? Good Luck running for senate!

    Also note in his letter which was only received after his death the governor viewed this case only from his stand point. He missed the boat! He didn’t even care to address any of the facts( noteven 1!) that people and the petition were based on.

  8. Wow, the utter disregard for anything but Grossman’s life is shocking. Crist did exactly as he was supposed to do. He examined the facts of the case, came to the conclusion that there was no mitigating circumstances, and that what Grossman did was heinous, callous, and that based on the facts the Death Penalty was called for.

    That Crist doesn’t represent the people, but ignores them, as one poster put it (#6 above) is just blatantly ignorant. The will of the people? Which “people” exaclty? Someone from Brooklyn? Or California? Or another, non-Florida, jurisdiction? What do most FLORIDIANS feel? They are the only people that Crist has to answer to, politically.

    Let’s restate this. Grossman killed – KILLED – someone. Grossman KILLED A POLICE OFFICER. KILLED. MURDERED. TOOK A HUMAN LIFE. This is not tax fraud or money laundering. Let’s get that straight.

  9. 8,
    you’re right if death is there to take revenge but in this country death is todo justice, and since he is not a murderer he does not deserve death.

  10. Dear #8(mazel tov)
    Some of the facts are 1) was 19 at the time 2) went through a traumatizing childhood experience, including growing up and taking care of his sick father 3) Abandoned by his mother 4) lost his family including his father at a young age 5) was on heavy drugs and alcohol 6) Psychological evaluation report clearly states he has brain damage and many psychological illnesses 7) Under competent with an IQ of 77 8) didn’t plan the killing so why is it 1st degree ? 9) The officer shot first, he was scared he will get shot- automatic impulse of self defense.

    Let me understand you’re saying that Grossman deserves to get killed and people like OJ who planned his killing and is partying all day and enjoying life isn’t? Furthermore there are people who killed many people and in the worst cruelest possible way that I won’t illustrate here ,if you’re interested you can go to http://www.floridacapitalcases.state.fl.us and they didn’t even receive the death penalty.

  11. Today is a very sad day for me and, I think, for the Jewish People. The death of any Jew is reason to mourn. But I have to say this: I am proud of my People and am proud to be Jewish. We came together as one, frum and non-frum, yeshivish, chasidish, modern, whatever. Even Chabad and Satmar managed to come together to co-sign a letter on Michoel Yechiel’s behalf.

    We should know no more tzaar. U’balah hamavet lanetzach. (Perhaps we should start by working to end the death penalty for all, so no one will need to go through this again.)

  12. In my eyes, the Governor who killed to enhance his political carrier, did a far worse crime, then someone killing to stop someone from locking him up in prison.
    history is full of people who killed to grab power, so its not a new phenomenon, it just the modern way of doing it

  13. One of the prime reasons states have death penalties at all, is as a deterrent to murder. It would have been expected that states that have the death penalty would have lower murder rates than states that don’t. However study after study by scientists and leading criminologists reveal that this is not the case. In fact the data shows that death penalty states do not have lower homicide rates than states that have abolished capital punishment.

  14. Governors constantly get pleas from the Pope and numerous organizations and individuals asking that a murderer be spared the death penalty. Are you saying that every Governor who ignores those pleas is an Achzor? Or is he only an Achzor because Grossman was Jewish. Should Crist have made a decision in his favor just because he was a Jew?

  15. I think we should continue to send emails to the Gov. To let him know our disappointment in the way he handled the whole affair by not even grant a meeting to the askonim and in his response to all the email didn’t address the mental health issues that Mr.Grossman had that could have been verified by many mental health experts in the field.

  16. Please before deciding whether Grossman was liable to the death sentence, please consider all the relavent facts( especially that he is not alive anymore , we should be extra sensitive when judging him). His psychology evaluation report clearly states his complete background and history. After reading all 26 pages , I was fairly convinced that at the least he doesn’t deserve the death penalty. It can be found here:

    http://www.chabadbeaches.com/templates/page_cdo/aid/1125195

    It is ovbious that Governor crist didn’t bother to look at this report or consider the facts. Had he, we probally wouldn’t be discussing this now.

  17. Martin Grossman had an IQ of 77. That means that his mental age was 4 years and 7 months old.

    The Supreme Court in 2002 banned the execution of mentally retarded inmates with IQs of 70 or below in Atkins v. Virginia, 01-8452.

    As a result a number of inmates throughout the country with IQ’s in the mentally retarded range had their death sentences commuted.

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/sentence-reversals-mental-retardation-cases

    In fact in FL, as a result of Atkins v. Virginia, three inmates have had their death sentences reduced when experts found them to be mentally retarded, in similar intelligence rangse to that of Martin Grossman but of course none of the other inmates were Jewish.

  18. to no 16 again none of these reasons should spare someone from any punishment. I do agree that the us justice system isnt competent enough to pasken on the death penalty or even a parking ticket they dont even follow their own rules. go sit in a courtroom for 10 min you wont even hear 1 case thats judged innocent till proven guilty its all about prosecution versus defense

  19. Do not blame the governor he did the job he is elected to do. We are blessed to live in a land of some sort of law and order. As jews we did what we could, and the law system did their job. Do not cry antisemitism etc. It serves us no good.

  20. its sounds funny that he was mentally retarded but he managed to change his tires burn his clothes throw the remains of his clothes into a lake.A child of 4 years and 7 months couldnt figure that out

  21. First of all ain adam mesim atzmo rasha. So big deal if he admitted the crime. He was drugged maybe the gun went off by accident in the sruggle and the police convinced him he shot her. Maybe the other guy lied. Al pi shenayim eidim and they don’t have two witnesses. Secondly nobody can tell me the jury and judge weren’t anti-semitic.Thirdly you already tortured the guy for twenty five years and he was sentenced to one death not twenty five deaths. Fourthly this penalty is in force to disuade others from killing. Jews have the lowest murder rate of any ethnic group in the country so you don’t have to convince jews not to kill.Besides executing jews is a contagious disease for gentiles for the past three thousand years and for christianity in general in who’s name million upon millions of jews were killed throughout the centuries. So what fool invites a disease in?. And fifth he is a baal teshuva. So what’s the point? Governor you can try to answer one question but you cannot answer all of these.

  22. Here’s what’s disturbing. We know the facts of the case.

    ******** The facts are that he didn’t “blow her brains out as the Gov. said. **************

    The facts are that Crist lied, like he always lies, this time about a dead man. Not only did he not pardon him, but for perhaps the first time in history, he sent out a callous, cold and misleading email minutes before the man was executed.

    THE BRIGHT SIDE IS THAT EVERY REPUBLICAN IN THE STATE HATES CRIST. He’s been losing straw poll after straw poll to former Speaker Marco Rubio. Rubio is on his way to beating him huge in the primary. Rubio may not have gotten involved but he wouldn’t do this either. This is just the latest example of Crist showing his true colors. There’s plenty more.

  23. Let’s focus on the real issues here. We must redouble our efforts to abolish this primitive, barbaric, cruel and unusual punishment that has no place in a modern, enlightened society. How long does the United States want to remain in the the same moral cesspool together with Iran, China, and Saudi Arabia?

    Second, Governor Crist should be held accountable for this crime committed under the pretext of “lawful proceedings.” His rush to murder Martin Grossman, denying him even the modest 60-day stay that was justified to present a fully-supported clemency request based on new evidence regarding mitigating circumstances, diminishes the value of human life. I hope the thousands of Jews, rabbanim, manhigim, talmidim and ordinary people that organized and pleaded to save Grossman’s life will devote their energy to ensure Crist – who has aspirations to become US Senator – never gets elected to any public office. That would send a powerful message to other politicians who play G-d and think it’s their job to kill defenseless people who pose no threat because they are locked up for life.

  24. Murderers should be killed. But not 19 year old murderers who freaked. Crist is a callous fool who lies and who sent out an email bashing the killer moments before the execution while anyone else would have reduced the sentence. Charlie Crist is a callous self serving fool who is so liberal on everything else but picks on criminals to make himself look like a tough guy. He doesn’t understand that that’s what makes people sickened by him the most. If he really was a nice guy he’d have more support. Fortunately Marco Rubio’s kicking his can in the polls.

  25. crist don’t try to cover up what u did if u were so sure about yourself where have u been till now, maybe people would of stopped calling and emailing, so obviously you are just making up storys cuz of your political agenda cuz you are scared of the elections

  26. Bec, please answer the points I brought up and don’t educate me about juries. Where have you been? DNA has made idiots of these juries. They don’t know they’re hip from their elbow. Let me ask you : Are you sure he killed her? How do you know it wasn’t the other guy? They were hallucinating. Maybe she shot herself? Maybe he gun went off in the struggle? And answer the other points.

  27. #18 thats righti feel the same way and i actually just put on the sing mi keacha yisroel on mbd cd and belive me this achdus is a real zechus for michoel yechiel ben avraham hy”d neshama,and now we have what to fight the satan with

  28. A Yid is always a Yid. Never forget that.
    As posted in other areas on this website – do something l’iluy nishmas Michoel Yechiel ben Avrohom. And whatever you do, don’t make a chilul HaShem with any comments! That CERTAINLY won’t help him. Achdus and kiddush HaShem will. Thank you.

  29. this is what i wrote to the governor after the execution…

    Governor Crist,

    Because you did not heed the voice of the masses who shout in harmony the song of reason, because you have shown yourself as a careless dancer in the china shop of justice, you have shot blindfolded through the gloomy haze wearing nothing but legal briefs and emerged shapeshifted from the sequestered cocoon of convenient indifference a disfigured clone of your intended target. You have become a killer.
    The drunken masquerade of the unjust must come to an end, and you stand pale faced, lime lit, as crimson curtains draw closed in the empty jesters court.

  30. You know, as much as we all have our oponions- we defeinitely are not G-d and should somewhat be ashamed to judge the situation… Who are we to say if someone deserves to be punished or not… or if somewhat made the right decision or not. Hashem has a master plan- we tried to do our hishtadlus, and the rest we leave up to Him. Baruch Dayan HaEmes.

  31. Well I see my last comment was deleted or removed and it was just a question. However I’ve read these comments on spare his life etc commute his sentence etc. I have a brother in-law that it was his job to sit on Grossman and insure he did not commit sucide. Grossmans was neither remorseful or penenintent the sargents that had to sit with him complained that he was bragging about how he made her beg to live? Now this is a life worth sparing? Would the Jewish community have spared Hitler

  32. apparently my comment was taken down, although i did answer you, washington, 38.
    how sick this community has become.
    haman was executed and he DIDN’T murder anyone. but here, a community goes against the torah, which clearly states “thou shall not murder” and that the punishment for murder is death. does this mean that when my mother-in-law annoys me, i can kill her and then do teshuvah and all is forgiven? will you all stand by me then?

  33. You all seem to forget that the Governor of the state of Florida is responsible to the citizens of that state. The only thing that was important to him was how many of those 50 thousand calls and letters and emails were from the citizens of Florida. Like it or not, Governor Crist does not have to justify anything to anyone over the state lines, nor does he really care what non-Florida citizens think.

  34. Something is so very wrong when as a last resort rabbanim & frum yidden are forced to petition mercy and life from ANYONE going by the name crist. Humiliating and tragic end come as expected.

  35. ברוך דיין אמת

    הצדיק מיכאל יחיא-ל בן מרים הי”ד

    ה’ ינקום דמו

    תהא נשמתו צרורה בצרור החיים וינוח בשלום על משכבו עד תחית המתים בקרוב

  36. Since I can remember, I’ve been a lone sheep debating my position, from Shabbos tables to dormitory rooms, to offices. I have yet to meet a minyan of frum people in my life that agrees with me on this issue. It’s just part of the whole hook line and sinker of conservative, talk radio mind numbing rhetoric that seems to have gripped us as a whole and have taken away any ability to think with our own faculties.
    I therefore sit here today flabbergasted, sad, angry and ashamed of my brethren…who I implicitly accuse of murdering one of our own.

    How on earth can you so blindly support the death penalty every opportunity you have while turning a blind eye to every plea of clemency and every utterance of “bleeding heart liberal” calls for mercy, and then get the chutzpah to act all shocked when a Jew is caught in the trap that YOU have set??

    And then how dare you accuse the Governor of Anti Semitism when all is doing is following the laws that YOU frum Jew have always supported??

  37. To DoL in comment #51.

    Who says those you are talking about are conservatives?
    And even most radio talk hosts are not conservative.
    Sean Hannity for example these days is ranting on and on about how every conservative must reject a thrid party and vote Republican no matter how hard the Republicans stab their voters and supporters in the back because liberal fools like Hannity think that all is wonderful once Republican gain power.

    It obviously does not matter to Hannity that Republicns will just keep giving in a little here aned a little there untill the Democrats get everything they have ever wanted and the country has been totally destroyed.

    No all that matters to liberals like him is making sure Republicans win against a third party no matter waht.

    And I do not think and have never called or implied that the Florida Governor was an ‘antisemite’ or anything like it, and no true conservative ever has.

    Nor has any truc conservative ever thought this case was not a good Death Penalty case.

  38. The Governor is now explaining himself, after the fact!! This is utterly disgusting!!

    If he is so interested in explaining “the facts” then why didn’t he have decency to meet with the Jewish groups that requested him to so just that BEFORE the execution?!!

    BTW, anyone of any IQ level has the instinctive capability to take the actions that Martin took, from the actual killing to the cover up. Maybe he even had someone else help him to perform the cover up actions. The point is that none of that amounts to a heinous crime, as Crist claimed in his email response. The motive in the killing of the Parks Officer was self-preservation.

    Crist admitted seeking guidance in making his decision; I beleive there is some hidden agenda involved. It was simply a WRONG DECISION.

  39. I’m sorry but I completely disagree with those of you who have or plan to contact the governor to express your feelings at this point. This can only lead to more chillul Hashem.

    PLEASE refrain from contacting him.

    He made a choice. He based his decision on what HE perceived as the right thing to do, as what he believes to be what HIS laws tell him to do. HE did NOT do anything wrong per se. YES he should have heeded our pleas and requests for clemency, but we simply cannot expect rachmanut from him as a goy. At this point our job as Torah Jews is to accept the outcome as a decree of Hashem. We did what we could but Hashem willed this to happen. May the years of Martin’s a”h suffering and his unjust death serve as a kapara for the sin he committed so long ago as a young and troubled man.

  40. Hopefully no yidden will ever again make the same mistake of putting their faith in Any one named “Crist”. ר”ל

    Can’t wait for this bum to get booted out of office.

  41. Hopefully no yidden will make the same mistake again of putting their faith in Any one named “Crist”. ר”ל

    Can’t wait for this bum to get booted out of office.

  42. #53 & 54 AGREE AGREE. What an anti-semite this guy is. I know little about american politics but if this guy is running for the senate, may Hashem foil his path.

  43. dol
    i agree with you wholeheartedly! why should a court have the ability to inflict any form of physical punishment?
    there’s a precedence for a government to jail someone who has excused himself from the table of the social contract that binds us all, and a court can impose a monetary punishment….but why should they be able to inflict physical pain and or death?
    we scream and shout when singapore canes people, so what makes anyone think that this is any better??
    a court should not have the power to take a life.

  44. I have to say that I am absolutely speechless. I don’t even know where to begin. Maybe I should start at the beginning. People are claiming he was a poor misguided soul on drugs and alcohol when he killed that innocent woman and only had an IQ of 77 so he was obviously did not have full mental capacity. Well he was already on probation for burglery and that is why he shot that innocent ranger in the head who found him illegaly shooting a handgun. He did have the mental capacity to bury the gun, clean his van, change his tires and bury the gun. And people who are calling the governor a cold blooded murderer who wouldn’t give him another stay. Aren’t we mixing up who the cold blooded killer is here? A jury of his peers found him guilty of murder. Not the Governor. And one more stay? For what? Some new information will come to light? he has been appealing for 20 years! And he has been rehabilitated? The death sentence in the US is not mitigated because someone on death row found gd again. And let us address Jewish law here. Jewish law does in fact allow the death penalty. Although it is difficult to do, we do have it. And I don’t ever remember reading that if the person is truly repentant, then he is spared the death penalty. Which addresses yet another point someone made. You can never ever repent for murder. You can be one person then and another person now who is repentent and changed ways but that does not expunge the murder from your past. So regardless of the fact that he served 25 years in prison IT DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT HE MURDERED SOMEONE. Where is everyones pity for the woman who died and her family who have suffered all these years? Where are your tears for them and your outrage for them? Who will avenge her death as you all scream for Martin Grossman’s death to be avenged? Do we as Jews avenge a death or not? You decide. But you can’t choose who gets avenged and who doesn’t. If you get your wish and Martin grossman’s “murder” as you call it is avenged by hashem, then Hashem will most certainly avenge his victims death when his neshama rises to shamanyim. Be very careful what you wish for.

  45. sghGirl
    According to your logic..we should be killing every idolator and adulterer in the United States as well.
    The Torah is so careful about who we kill…and yes we do sometimes kill but ONLY because we follow it as G-ds will when all the pieces are in place.
    Thats not a carte blanche to go around “avenging” crimes.
    Punishment should never be meted out based on passions and emotions..that is basically mob rule.
    We have no right to take anothers life.
    This has nothing to do with pity for the victims family. Does it make sense to base punishment based on the victims families desire? Suppose the victims family would only feel better if the perps entire family be killed? Or their house burned to the ground? Should we indulge them as well?
    I fail to see any logic in your comment.