Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Florida Supreme Court Refuses To Halt Execution Of Martin Grossman Next Week

Florida Supreme Court Refuses To Halt Execution Of Martin Grossman Next Week


Monday February 8, 2010 4:46 PM

The Florida Supreme Court today refused to halt the execution of a man convicted of murdering a state wildlife officer 25 years ago. The justices rejected Martin Edward Grossman’s claims (see Matzav.com’s reports here and here) that he 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. Grossman’s execution is set for next week.

In a 6-0 unsigned opinion, the justices wrote that his arguments had been raised and rejected in prior appeals.

The high court also ruled Grossman was premature in claiming he may be mentally incompetent.

An insanity claim first must go to Gov. Charlie Crist for a ruling before it can be appealed. Upon being notified that an inmate may be incompetent, state law requires the governor to appoint a panel of three psychiatrists to examine the prisoner before making a decision based on the panel’s recommendations.

A spokeswoman for a state legal office that represents death row inmates said a federal court appeal also is planned.

Grossman, 45, is set for execution Feb. 16 for the 1984 murder of wildlife officer Margaret “Peggy” Park, 26, in a wooded area of Pinellas County.

Park was shot with her own gun after confiscating a stolen handgun Grossman, then 19, and another teen had been shooting in the woods.

Grossman, who was on probation for a burglary, beat Park with her flashlight as she picked up her radio microphone to call the sheriff’s office, prosecutors said. They said she drew her gun and fired a shot that missed before Grossman wrestled it from her and shot her once in the back of the head.

Chief Justice Peggy Quince did not participate in the ruling.

{Miami Herald/Matzav.com Newscenter}

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