Unbeliveable Reaction to the Grossman verdict

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    I was on the train last night and overheard two people (frum men in thier 50s) talking about the verdict.

    The conversation lasted for about 5 minutes (the usual back-and-forth about any current event story) and they fell silent.

    One went back to his paper, and the other (and I kid you not) literaly wept for the next 30 minutes. I was so shocked, I did not know what to say.

    How low we as a race have fallen, when this reaction is the exception, not the norm.

    And in the face of this morning’s BP tragedy, oiy to we need to wake up and start feeling “yenem’s tzar” (another’s pain, but it loses something in translation)


    it is a sad tragedy, considering all the facts.


    And if his daughter had been the one killed, chas v’shalom, would he have cried so hard for the killer of his daughter?


    i wonder how much this man wept when learning of the abuse of INNOCENT frum children (which, by the way, the yeshivishe velt does not make a peep about)


    What ever happened to the requirement for pre-meditation for capital punishment?

    Yes, he did a terrible murder, but he was borderline mentally retarded, and high on drugs at the time. Facts indicating that he tried to cover up the crime do not change those facts, nor the main point that there was no pre-meditation.

    According to an email I received from the governor’s office some 50,000 people called, emailed, and faxed him to change his mind. The Chief rabbi of Israel and (l’havdil) the pope asked him to change his mind.

    Martin’s death will undoubtedly be m’chaper for his crime.

    What will be m’chaper for the governor’s crime?


    I was appalled when I read R’ Hoffmans article in today’s VIN. No I don’t agree with anything he said. WE are not on the madreigah as the sanhedrin and we cannot agree with the death penalty!



    I presume everyone’s now going to be voting for politicians who are against the death penalty, right?



    So you think it was a wise idea to harass the victim’s family and call them Nazis?

    The organizational leadership should have done what they can behind the scenes and not have had every Joe Shmo doing their own vigilantism. The price the Jewish community willpay for such behavior is a serious thing.


    A woman was murdered in cold blood. She was 26 years old, and loved animals. She had a mother, father, sister and brother who waited for 24 years for justice to be served. I do feel bad that a Jewish person was put to death but this is not the first time a Jew was put to death and probably won’t be the last. Instead, let’s do something constructive for the kids at risk so they won’t commit atrocious crimes. Be a big brother or sister to a kid that is off the derech, project yes is in great need of mentors. Or say tehillim, give tzaddakah in his name.



    AOM, at the risk of beating a dead horse let’s look at this from the perspective of the laws of the United States and the State of Florida.

    1. Murder of a peace officer in the performance of her duties is a capital crime and counted as aggravated murder in Florida and many other States
    2. While Officer Parks was calling for help on her radio Mr. Grossman took her flashlight and beat her with it to the point where the skull suffered multiple fractures and sub-dural bleeds.
    3. He then took her gun, turned her and shot her in the back of the head.

    If he had taken a swing at her, she had fallen and died from knocking her head a defense attorney might have gotten a manslaughter verdict. It’s the next part that scuttled any hope of a lesser verdict. He took a weapon (flashlight) from her and hit her several dozen times in a fashion likely to cause death or serious injury. And after he disarmed her he took the premeditated steps of taking her pistol, turning her over and shooting her execution-style. Under the laws of any State and the traditions of English Common, Napoleonic and Dutch-Roman law – in other words pretty much the entire Western world – that is clearly pre-meditated murder.

    In many States a death which occurs as the result of a felony is raised to the status of Felony Murder or Capital Murder. I forget which term Florida uses. That’s why if you kill someone by accident in the course of a burglary you face murder charges. Or if you rob someone and your accomplice is shot by the police you face a murder rap for his death. Mr. Grossman was in possession of stolen property, a criminal in possession of a firearm and in violation of his parole. Any one of these would be enough to raise the crime to the level of a capital crime.

    Attempts to cover up the crime are considered aggravating circumstances, hence “aggravated murder”.

    You may not agree with the laws of Florida and the United States. You are free to try and get things changed. But the verdict and the execution were completely in line with them.

    The case had been appealed about twenty times and rejected each time due to lack of any new evidence. Four governors saw and rejected pleas for clemency, not just Gov. Crist. The governor in Florida is only supposed to grant clemency if there is new evidence that the condemned was not guilty of the crime. A plea from fifty or fifty thousand should not sway him if this is not the case. And much as I dislike Gov. Crist’s politics I am forced to agree with him. He did his duty under the law.

    right winger

    You don’t need the sanhedrin to give the death penalty, the melech is supposed to make courts to kill rotzchim and ganavim. The US government did that, and properly killed a rotzeach. many frum people are more interested in protecting our own than in seeing that justice is done.


    Feif Un

    aries2756, one of the sheva mitzvos bnei Noach is to set up a court system. It doesn’t say that a non-Jewish court can’t use the death penalty. It’s up to them how they want to assign their punishments, and we must respect it. Only Jewish people are bound by the majority of halachah.


    This will sound calloused to some, terrible to others and may come as a shock to even more. How many of these http://crime.about.com/od/deathrow/Death_Row_Inmates_Past_and_Current.htm people on death row will we now start a campaign for clemency? There are over FIVE HUNDRED death row inmates in Florida and North Carolina alone! Will we scour the lists for names like Grossman, Feldman, Cohen and Goldstein before we sign a petition or start email campaigns? Have we as a community suddenly become anti death penalty? Personally, I sent emails made phone calls as requested by the various Frum organizations. In truth, I feel like a lemming. Where are those organizations for the other 375 inmates on Floridas Death Row? Are they actively researching their cases? Why not? Will we all become major contributors to the Aleph Institute? This is not intended to question Martin Grossman, A”H, case on its merits under Fla law. I am not familiar with the specifics of the case, or Florida law. I AM familiar with the fact that until 3 weeks I never heard of Martin Grossman a”h, thought nothing about death row inmates or the death penalty. And if I dont get another email about death row inmates from R’ Chaim David Zweibel, on behalf of the Agudah, I will likely go back to the way it was 3+ weeks ago. I feel like a lemming and a hypocrite. How about you?


    As far as I am concerned, JUSTICE was served when he was put in jail for the rest of his life. He was divested of his freedoms and was put away where he can not hurt another human being. That was justice for the crime and to the family of the victim. It was not necessary to kill him. Was the killer of Yankel Rosenbaum put to death? Was the killer of John Lennon put to death? Was justice served in these cases? Was Robert Kennedy’s killer put to death? Was he as important as an officer? Was OJ Simpson put to death? Did he even serve the sentence that SMR is serving for taking two innocent lives? Do you really want to speak about Justice?


    Will we scour the lists for names like Grossman, Feldman, Cohen and Goldstein

    Go ahead and scour the lists. If you find any of the names you mentioned or similar ones let us know. I think you probably won’t. For the Jewish People who have a very important and Holy Mitzvah of Pidyon Shevuim, this was a case that stood out for us.


    right winger…Gemara tells us, a Sanhedrin that upheld an execution in seven years or even in seventy years was scorned as a bloody court!! meaning that as much as they instituted courts to kill rotzchim and ganavim…it was more of a preventative measure to scare further murders and thefts! Sanhedrin very very rarely killed s/o as the gemara states and that is not becauset there were no murders or thefts! in fact there were many Arey Mikat instituted in Eretz Yisroel because certain shevatim ( I believe Reuven) had a common occurances of accidentals and perhaps at times intentional murders…However, Bais Din would do what ever they could to find a way/reasoning why not to take the criminal life’s away! You can in NO way compare sanhedrin to a secular court system!


    Aries, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), as long as you do not commit a federal crime, like real estate, location is very important. You can bludgeon someone to death in one state and do 10 years with good behavior and get the death penalty in another.

    Feif Un

    Mod-80, I was told by R’ Matisyohu Salomon that if a person is guilty of the crime, there is absolutely no mitzvah of pidyon shevuyim. This definitely applied in this case, so there was no such mitzvah here.


    Dear moderator 80. Does Pidyon Shevuyim apply ONLY to death row inmates? The prison in Otisville is filled with many potential cases of Pidyon Shevuyim if it extends to anyone incarcerated. Will YWN lead the letter writing campaign on their behalf? Is it your belief that the state of Florida illegally and wrongfully held Mr. Grossman necessitating the mass campaigns? Does it stop with this case? If it does, why? If it doesnt, where are the calls for more Pidyon Shevuyim campaigns?


    Okay, not Pidyon Shevuim, try saving the life of a Jew who is about to be executed. Isn’t that what you were talking about in your post that I replied to?

    Feif Un If he said it he said it, but I don’t know exactly what he meant or how you interpreted it. Do you mean to say the Rav would hold that if a Yeshiva bochur, say, stole some candy in Saudia Arabia and the law there is that he was to be lashed then his hands cut off, that we don’t have Mitzvah to rescue him?


    Jphone…I went on that link and scanned briefly through some of the inmates on death row…some of the cases are too atrocious to even read! But even after reading some i had no impluse to say “lets kill him/her” for what they did! Jail in Life is sufficient as they cannot harm another human being there! From a secular point of view you may say that we only help “our kind”…bottom line as yidden we have the torah that demands us to be podeh shevuim…not for goyim…so if you think thats unfair…speak to G-d!! He is waaay more wiser and brilliant than any creature in this world and I trust His commandments and decisions!

    So will I petition for a goy? If Hashem would demand pidyon shevuim for goyim I would!! eventhough goy is far removed from where we come from/our ideals and values!

    I can’t go out of my way to petition for a goy on death row out of my own initiative because the potential for a yid to do teshuva and be rehabilitated far excells that of a goy…and im not convinced that every goy on death row did/doing repetance and is being rehabilitated! ( as one case i read the murderer said he wanted to see what it would feel like kiling a person)…Martin Grossman did teshuva, at time of his death he was not the person he was 25 years ago! and yes…that makes a difference to who we petition!

    Had he not shown remorse and teshuva…possibly the outcry would have been on a lesser volume but still there because as yidden we are obligated to be podeh shevuim even if we feel he doesn’t deserve it!


    One thing i will agree with Jphone…truth be told we should have an outcry for every single Jewish inmate!! I think the reason this one case created such a response is because I don’t think many of us hear of Jewish inmates being put to death every other day…this case seemed rare and demanded a response! if there are more Jewish prisoner on death row, that we are not aware of, then Alef has a responsibility to publicize it and let us know about them so we can try helping them too!

    only reason you and I and many others knew about Martin Grossman’s case is because some pp took the responsibility and initative to let us know about it!! otherwise we would not known about it!!!

    so its not a matter of where are petitions for other inmates…but lack of public infomation about these cases!


    Mod-80. If I did not feel the desire to help save the life of a fellow Jew, I would not have sent emails (from a number of email addresses made up, just for the occasion as well as the address I always use) and made phone calls. However, the very fact that the request to save the life of a fellow Jew was clothed in terms about examining the facts of the case etc., etc., I wonder why this is not a consideration for ALL death row inmates. At least someone else was honest enough to write, “we do for our own”, let his do for him. Are our organizations saying the same thing?

    PIDYON SHVUYIM everyone screamed for 3 weeks. Well, there are other shvuyim, where is the screaming for them? I think we are all a bunch of hypocrites.


    Yes, we have always done for our own. If you feel this violates your compassion for the whole of humanity, well then I see why you feel like a hypocrite.


    To Feif un,

    Yet there were signs in Lakewood to say tehillim for Mr. Grossman and to call Gov. Crist. And these signs were signed by the Roshei Hayeshiva.

    How can you explain the apparent stira?

    To me the answer is simple, this was not a case of pidyon shvuyim per se, there were no attempts to have Mr. Grossman o’h freed. This was a plea to waive, or at least postpone slightly, a death sentence. While you may think pidyon shvuyim does not apply, however speaking up, as is one’s right in a democracy, to plea for the governor to give another chance to does apply. Certainly Rabbonim and gedolim across the world and across the jewsih spectrum felt so.

    To all thos who ask, why do we speak out only in this case, all such defendats have people who speak up for them, usually friends, family or acquaintences. Loved ones if you may. We spoke up here because we believe that each yid is connected. The haggadah talks about someone who asks such a question. It says “Ulfi shehotze es atzmoh min haklall kofar b’ikur”. You can only ask such a question if you do not feel a kesher to another yid just because he is a yid.

    To Anuran,

    I am glad to know that you are the Judge and Jury who can make an ultimate decision in a capital case from reading a few comments. All the pleas were just for a last chance. No one contended that a horrible crime was not committed, however there was perhaps some mitigating items that would preclude capital punishment. But you know better of course.

    To right winger,

    Check your facts. Meisas Beis DIn is only in specific cases.

    WHile bnei noach are metzuvah in setting up courts, there are still rules about when capitaal punishment can apply. Presumably this was ot such a case.

    For all those who get high and mighty and cry “Dina Demalchusa” the attempt to save Mr. Grossman was fully in consideration of thos very laws, that he may not have been elligible for capital punishment under those very laws.

    Our tafkid, as I understand was to make a hishtadlus to see if we could have the death penalty changed to life imprisonment through calls and petitions. At the same time, since “Yad malochim vsorim byad Hashem” we davened to Hashem to send a reprieve to Mr. Grossman if that were His will. But it was our chiyuv to do our hishtadlus.

    Apparently Hashem did not want the penalty removed, maybe the only full kapporoh was Mr. Grossman’s death.

    But at the same time, it was an opportunity to either be included in the kllal or excluded, maybe it wasa a test for all of us. Apparently, there are those were not moved to be counted as part of the klal, that is their loss.

    Ulifey shehoitze es atzmo min haklall.


    Jphone…if you know of other shevuim…and i mean exact names and cases, then start publicizing them! and we can elicit similar petitions! we just do not know about these cases cuz Alef and similar institutions are not not publicizing them! the Lubavitch shalayich was the one who set up the website savemartingrossman.com and thats how we knew about it! Alef did not make us aware of the case nor did other institutions…so again, if they would then we have similar obligations to petition on their behalf as well!


    Jose, I’m not the judge or jury here. There was already a trial with a jury. There was a judge at the trial. There were almost two dozen appeals to panels of judges as well as appeals for clemency to five governors. Refer your questions about the justice of the verdict to them.

    I’m trying to explain how the facts as presented fit into the categories of aggravated, premeditated or felony murder. The person to whom the response was directed didn’t understand how they could. I hope this amateur attempt at an explanation provided some insight into how these things work. “Premeditated” doesn’t mean “planned six weeks in advance”. It can mean as little as a moment before under the right circumstances.

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