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February 17 2010 | UNITED STATES


Martin Grossman, 45, was executed by lethal injection

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Associated Press

Martin Grossman, 45, was executed by lethal injection .

After expressing regret, he added, "I accept responsibility." He prayed briefly in Hebrew, then closed his eyes. He was pronounced dead 15 minutes later. Grossman was the 69th person executed in Florida since the death penalty was reinstated in the state in 1979. He was the 25th by lethal injection, the fifth executed under Crist and the first in 2010. Authorities said Grossman beat Park with a flashlight and shot her in the back of her head after she found the then-19-year-old and 17-year-old Thayne Taylor with a stolen handgun while she was patrolling a wooded area in Pinellas County. Grossman, who was on probation for a burglary, asked Park not to turn him in, but she radioed the sheriff's office. Park managed to fire a wild shot with her gun and kick Taylor in the groin, but Grossman wrestled away the gun and fired a shot into the back of Park's head.

Two weeks later, authorities arrested Grossman and Taylor. Grossman was convicted in October 1985 and sentenced to death. Taylor was convicted of third-degree murder.  Earlier this month, the Florida Supreme Court refused to halt the execution, rejecting claims that Grossman wasn't given a fair chance to prove his trial lawyer had been ineffective nor allowed to present certain mitigating evidence against a death sentence. As the execution date grew closer, some called for another clemency hearing for Grossman, saying he didn't deserve the death penalty for the crime.

"Martin has shown deep and profound remorse over the years, and is no longer the same wild reckless person he was 26 years ago," Rabbi Menachem Katz of the Florida-based Aleph Institute said in a statement. Katz spent a few hours with Grossman on Tuesday and said he was "strong," and at peace. He said that although Grossman accepted responsibility for the crime, the inmate didn't believe he deserved the death penalty.  The Vatican also asked for leniency in a letter written by Archbishop Fernando Filoni on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI.

The victim's sister, Betsy, witnessed the execution, along with her 79-year-old mother, Peggy Park, and brother, Stephen Park.

Park's mother said she thought Grossman's execution was long overdue.

She compared his quiet death to "some of the children in Haiti who died under concrete and rubble, dark, scared, hungry. They had hardship, and I think he had it easy."  Crist signed Grossman's death warrant Jan. 12. Since that time, his office has received thousands of letters, telephone calls or e-mails, according to a spokesman.

October 15 2016

Human rights activist asks Pope to discuss the death penalty with Lukashenka

Andrei Paluda, coordinator of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus", has sent a letter to Pope Francis, asking him to touch upon the issue of capital punishment during his meeting with President Lukashenka.
October 10 2016
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July 2 2016
Address and the Final Ceremony by Mario Marazziti. Nobel Peace Prize Room, City Hall. June 23rd 2016

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by Mario Marazziti
June 25 2016

Pope Francis: “Death penalty is unacceptable”

Pope Francis addresses the authorities, the associations, the activists and the civil society gathered in Oslo on the occasion of the World Congress Against the Death Penalty through a video message.
June 21 2016
The 6th Congress Against the Death Penalty opens today in Oslo

The Community of Sant'Egidio takes part in the congress with delegations from Italy, Congo, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Indonesia

1500 attendants coming from over 80 countries. Among them, 20 ministers, 200 diplomats, members of different parliaments, scholars, lawyers, members of various associations and civil society actors
May 25 2016
"The laws are not perfect and judges cannot make mistakes. When you think that laws are perfect, this is the beginning of injustice", said Mgr. Suharyo

Church and civil society against new executions

Jakarta is among the 15 cities in Indonesia where in the past years the event "Cities for Life, Cities against the Death Penalty" was held, organized by Sant'Egidio in over two thousand municipalities in the five continents
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The Washington Post

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