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Grossman Execution

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Twenty-six years ago, Florida Fish and Wildlife Officer Margaret Park was murdered in the course of her duties. The long overdue execution of Martin Grossman for this crime was carried out today. AP story here. The Supreme Court's "green light for the green mile" order is here. Mark Douglas of News Channel 8 notes a curious development:

Tonight, the Vatican, Jewish leaders as far away as Jerusalem, and thousands of petitioners are calling for a stop to the execution of convicted killer Martin Grossman.

But as of 5 p.m., there wasn't a single protester standing outside the Florida State Prison, where Grossman was scheduled to die of lethal injection....

Update: The part about no protesters is missing from the updated, post-execution version of Douglas's story.

Update 2: Douglas's "witness to execution" story is here.

Yeshiva World News reports that Governor Crist has sent out an answer to the emails he has received:

Thank you for contacting me and sharing your concerns about the execution of Martin Grossman.

On December 13, 1984, Mr. Grossman violated the terms of his probation by leaving Pasco County and having a stolen firearm in his possession. In a routine stop, Florida Fish and Wildlife Officer Margaret Park found the weapon.  When she reached for the radio in her patrol car to report him, Mr. Grossman attacked her with her own large flashlight, beating her over the head and shoulders 20 to 30 times. When Officer Park tried to fight back, Mr. Grossman took her .357 Magnum revolver and shot her in the back of the head, killing her.

Mr. Grossman took several carefully planned steps to cover up this horrible crime. The weapon was buried, and Mr. Grossman attempted to burn his clothes and shoes, which were later disposed of in a nearby lake. The following day, Mr. Grossman thoroughly cleaned the van and changed its tires to mislead law enforcement.

Officer Park's autopsy revealed lacerations on top of her head, hemorrhaging inside the scalp and extensive fracturing of the skull.  All of these injuries resulted from Mr. Grossman's attack. The facts of this crime clearly meet the definition of heinous, atrocious and cruel, and his actions afterward demonstrate his well-reasoned attempts to cover it up.

The courts have fully reviewed Mr. Grossman's legal claims, and his conviction and sentence have been affirmed by both the Florida Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. Based on the facts and exhaustion of legal proceedings, and in accordance with Florida law, I signed his death warrant on January 12, 2010.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

1 Comment

I am not opposed in principle to death penalty with the condition of a good fonctioning judicial system wich in my opinion is missing even in the USA. In the Grossman case there were classification issues that Gov. Christ doesn't bother to mention. I don't deny the gravity of the crime in question nor the grief of the victim's family, but I wonder if it is not easier for a governor to "avenge" the death of a civil servant than to pass a budget to afford safer working conditions for him. If she had been part of a two men patrol would she have died?

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