NOTHING brought back the vividness and pain of the moral conflict in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men like this week’s capital punishment case in Florida of Martin Grossman. Like Lenny in Steinbeck’s story, Martin Grossman was a man of impulsive and compulsive behavior due to his mental disability. For each of them, respectively, in fiction and in real life, their worst and most uncontrollable behavior turned to to be murder itself.
By now Grossman has been executed. But up until the very last minute of his life, some Jewish groups were lobbying for the capital punishment decision to be reversed. Many Jews were praying for a last minute miracle.
I feel very conflicted about this.
First of all, I guess I should tell you I am conflicted about the death penalty, in general. On the one hand, I feel like no human being has the right to take another human beings life. No matter what.