Against Capital Punishment
Tue, 04/20/2010

Regarding Jonathan Mark’s well-written article, “Sympathy For The Devil?” (March 5) about the effort to get Martin Grossman’s death sentence commuted and about his subsequent execution, I am completely in favor of any Jewish individual or organization or a person of any race or creed who sought to have the execution stayed.

While some maintained that this advocacy for a murderer was unseemly, I say that legally speaking out on behalf of an individual who faces a penalty that a significant amount of people are against anyway, no matter what the offense, is an appropriate expression of freedom of speech. Where it did get unseemly was in the reports that some people were contacting the victim’s mother and it appeared that she was being harassed. If so, that is despicable. The only reasonable communication to that woman would be to express condolences for her loss.

I sent e-mails to Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, asking for life in prison without parole for Grossman, and I also prayed for the prisoner. I read that some people were asking that he be spared the death penalty because he was a changed man (for the better) and was no longer the same person who committed the murder. While I think that repentance is important for him and could inspire others, I don’t understand why that should have any bearing on whether he should be executed or not. He should be tried and punished for the person he was on the night of the murder. His victim — Peggy Park — never had a chance to “change” as a person after her brutal murder, and I don’t think Grossman deserved any credit in the legal sense for his change.

Brooklyn  
 

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