By Aryeh Levin, COLlive reporter
A Jewish law student from Columbus, Ohio, is garnering signatures for an apology letter to Mrs. Margaret Park, mother of slain wildlife officer Peggy Park.
The young Park was shot to death in Florida in 1984 by Martin Grossman, a Jewish man, who took responsibility for the killing before being executed Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010.
Chabad and Jewish organization, and even the Vatican, had asked for clemency, arguing that he had shown remorse.
“I fully regret everything that happened that night, everything that was done, whether I remember everything or not. I accept responsibility,” Grossman was recorded as saying.
But Park’s 79-year-old mother who lives in suburban Columbus, said: “I think he’s been treated very fairly by the state of Florida. I don’t take any pleasure in an execution, but it’s time.”
MP, Ohio State Grad Student ’11 who lives nearby, has spoken to Mrs. Park since.
“She lives in my neighborhood and I was upset to hear that she has received some harassment from some frum people,” the mother of 4 told COLlive.com.
“She told me that people didn’t know the details of her daughter’s murder, yet she had received ‘unkind’ phone calls. I told her I was planning to write to her and she seemed amenable to a letter.”
The woman invited COLlive readers to write to Mrs. Park. Here is a sample letter:
Dear Mrs. Park,
I am writing this letter on behalf of myself and others in the Jewish community to express our apologies for the way you and your family have been treated over the past few weeks.
From what we understand, you have received harassing messages and phone calls and for that we are truly sorry.
That was the reprehensible behavior of a few misguided and confused individuals and we assure you that their conduct does not reflect the general mindset of the Jewish community as a whole.
Judaism, as a religion, places great emphasis on personal responsibility and consequences and we do not believe that any individual should escape the consequences of his actions simply because of his religious affiliations.
I have read quite a bit about your daughter over the last month and it seems that she was a beautiful person with a kind heart.
We are all so sorry for your loss and for the ordeals which your family has gone through over the last 25 years. We hope that now your family can finally find some measure of peace and comfort.
Once again, please accept our sincere apologies for any comments or actions that added to your sorrow.