Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Friends and Colleagues of Murdered FSU Law Prof Dan Markel Fear that Justice May be Meted Out to His Killer


Law professor Dan Markel, 41, was shot in his Tallahassee, Fla., home on Friday and died Saturday

News / GTA
Toronto-born law professor Dan Markel gunned down at his Florida home
Tallahassee police have no suspects in the murder of the Florida State University professor, a father of two young boys.

By Todd Coyne
Sun Jul 20 2014
The Star

Friends of a Toronto-born law professor are at a loss for words for their grief this week, while police remain at a loss for suspects in his murder.

Dan Markel, 41, an accomplished legal scholar at Florida State University and father to two young boys, was mourned by hundreds on Sunday near the Tallahassee home where he was gunned down on Friday morning.

He died of his injuries in hospital on Saturday.

“They’re treating it as a homicide at this point; this is not considered a break-in,” a Tallahassee police spokesperson told the Star on Sunday. “We don’t have any suspects at this time.”

The shooting at Markel’s Betton Hills home rocked the upscale Tallahassee neighbourhood. William Marvin was not home at the time of the attack, but he recalled fondly the conversations he would have with his neighbour two doors down whenever the two crossed paths.

“He was a really good guy,” Marvin said. “I just think it’s a tragedy and I feel sorry for the kids.”

School faculty, friends and family members — including Markel’s parents from Toronto — gathered at the nearby Shomrei Torah synagogue Sunday to read prayers and share memories of Markel.

“He brought lots of joy here on Saturday mornings,” said congregation president Ellen Simon, who presided over the ceremony. “He was very lively and our congregation became more lively because of him.”

In the legal community, Markel had close friends in some of the highest reaches of the academic world. Some who spoke with the Star noted the sad irony between Markel’s crusading work against the death penalty and the punishment that may await the perpetrator of his murder.

“If it turns out he was killed in the course of a robbery or burglary,” said Professor Jonathan Simon at the University of California, Berkeley, “that would be one of your quintessential crimes in America that would get the death penalty in a state like Florida.”

Simon said he was supposed to speak with Markel by phone on Friday morning. When the call never came, he waited and waited until finally he heard the terrible news.

Glenn Cohen, a colleague and professor at Harvard University — where Markel attended undergrad and later law school — remembered him as an “academic matchmaker,” more keen to help others succeed than to help himself.

New York University law professor Rick Hills, Jr., last saw Markel when the Florida resident stayed with him in New York just two weeks ago.

Markel had not told many of his friends yet, but he told Hills that he was happy in a new relationship with a woman after going through a divorce with the mother of his children in the past two years, Hills said.

“He was rebuilding his life after a really, really difficult period,” Hills said. “I was watching him as he was in my apartment Skyping his kids and saying goodnight on his cellphone … he was so happy.”

Markel’s body is expected to be repatriated to Canada while funeral arrangements will be made by his family in Toronto later this week.
With files from Paul Clarke


Anonymous said...

Right, the colleagues are very worried about the murderer being caught and executed. Their worries are misplaced badly.

Anonymous said...

You've addressed this issue before but it looks like Obama is ratcheting thing up. Teachers and aministration won't dare to take the slightest disciplinary action against non white students. Just the way Obama wants it. jerry

Anonymous said...

As of Wednesday morning, no news. According to the authorities, Dan Markel is still not a "random" but "intended" target.

David In TN