Unless you've lived under a rock for the last two weeks, you're probably aware that Martin Grossman was executed last week for the murder of wildlife officer Peggy Park in 1984. As the execution date drew closer, the case gained a lot of publicity as many Jews in the Orthodox world (as well as many non-Jews as well) attempted to persuade Governor Crist to either commute the sentence to life in prison without parole or grant a stay of execution. In the end, Grossman's appeals were exhausted and he was executed.
During the course of the campaign, some people decided to reach out and harass the mother of Peggy Park for not joining the campaign for clemency for Grossman. The blogger, OnionSoupMix, lives in Mrs. Parks' neighborhood and has written a letter to her apologizing for the actions of her more extreme coreligionists. You can find it on her blog, Matzav and ChabadOnLineLive. I urge you to read it and, if you agree with her sentiments, send her your name so she can attach it to the letter.
Personally, I am sickened by some of the sentiments expressed by people towards the Park family in the aftermath of the execution. Some of the "choice" comments from Matzav and COL commentators include (anything in brackets is my own translation/interpretation):
L’ma’ashe she caused retzichah, we do not have to apologize, even mitzad menshlachkait.
(Translation: In fact, she caused murder [Martin Grossman's, I'm presuming] we do not have to apologize, even with regard to being a mentsch[acting properly]).
the man did tishuva [repentance]! all he wanted was to live in jale [sic] for the rest of his life….and even so this rishanta [wicked woman] insisted on his death and went to watch it!
wow, it would be nice to focus more on ahavat yisroel [love of your fellow Jew] than feelings of a mother who waited 25 years to have a Jew dead!
"halacha shesav sone leyaakov" [it's a "law" that non-Jews hate Jews] she hates you and you r [sic] going to gather apology signatures!
tell her to get A LIFE!
Martin Grossman killed Margaret Park in 1984.
the state of Florida executed Martin Grossman in 2010.
MOTHER OF PEGGY PARK, MOVE ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Personally, these comments disgust and sicken me and make me feel ashamed to be in the same species, let alone religion. Whether you think the execution was justified or not, I utterly fail to understand how someone cannot empathize with a woman who has waited twenty five years to see justice done in the murder of her daughter. People who, God forbid, lose children NEVER "get a life" and "move on," even when they die natural or accidental deaths.
To me, someone who cannot empathize with a mother wanting the full measure of legal justice for her slain child, regardless of the length of time involved, is simply uncaring, unfeeling and does certainly does not possess one of the traits that is supposed to be characteristic of Jews -- rachmanim (people who have mercy). And I feel sorry for them -- moreso than I do for Mr. Grossman. At least, at the end of his life, he learned to empathize with someone else and apologize for causing them pain. Others in our community seem to relish in it and want to victimize the Parks all over again.