As you may or may not know, a Jewish man is slated for execution in Florida next Tuesday.
Martin Grossman was convicted of killing Margaret Parks, a Florida Wildlife Officer, in 1984, when he was 19 years old.
He did so while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and in an act of panic, not premeditation.
He has conducted himself as a model prisoner since his incarceration some 25 years ago and has shown profound remorse and regret for his actions.
National Council of Young Israel has joined other Orthodox Jewish groups including Agudath Israel of America and the Orthodox Union, in asking Florida Governor Charlie Crist to grant clemency , from the death penalty to life in prison, to Mr. Grossman, and we have also requested a meeting in person with Governor Crist to discuss the matter.
But it is important that the Governor hear from the grassroots as well - certainly from people who live or spend significant time in Florida, but even from non-Floridians.
His e-mail address is Charlie.Crist@myflorida.com , his phone number is
(850) 488-7146 and he can be faxed at 850-487-0801.
Letters and calls should be polite to the Governor to take into account Mr. Grossman's youth and impairment at the time of the crime and his good behavior and remorse in the years since.
And the request should be that Mr. Grossman be permitted to serve his debt to society by serving the rest of his life in prison.
May we have happier occasions to demonstrate our achdus and ahavas Yisroel.
"Even those who strongly support capital punishment would limit it to recidivists or people who commit the most heinous of crimes. Martin Grossman fits neither of those categories. He does not belong on death row. His crime, committed when he was a teenager, was unplanned, unpremeditated and impulsive—the product of a serious mental illness, that can now be proved by medical technology that was unavailable at the time of his sentencing. He has been in prison for more than a quarter of a century, during which time he has been a model prisoner who has shown great remorse for what he did. All that he is seeking now is a 60 day postponement of his execution, so that his supporters can martial the evidence and present his case for clemency. No one should be rushed to execution while doubts remain unresolved. Justice demands that he be given the 60 days to prove that he does not deserve to die at the hands of the state."
Alan M. Dershowitz
Alan M. Dershowitz