Florida State law professor and leading blogger legal Dan Markel died on Friday from an apparent gunshot wound at his home. Markel, 41, was a popular professor at Florida State University College of Law and the founder of Prawfsblawg, a popular legal blog. All such deaths without witnesses (called “unattended incidents”) are investigated as possible homicides. UPDATE: The police are saying that Markel was “targeted’ and murdered.
Markel was found dead after a neighbor called police about hearing a “loud bang.” Markel left behind two young sons, ages 3 and 5, and was actively involved in his synagogue, Congregation Shomrei Torah. He was going through a divorce from his wife. He was known to be someone devoted to his children and to his academic work.
There have been a series of burglaries in the area and Markel’s own home was burglarized a few years ago. One blogger has stated that he believes that Markel that was the victim of a violent burglary but later withdrew that statement.
Markel had a brilliant career. He is the author of the book Privilege or Punish: Criminal Justice and the Challenge of Family Ties. He was raised in Toronto and graduated from Harvard College in 1995 and later received his masters from the University of Cambridge before graduating from Harvard Law School in 2001.
It is a terrible loss for family, the Florida State community, and academia. He was a prolific and brilliant academic who left his mark on this Earth with his writings and friendships. I did not know Dan but the testimonials about his life reveal a man with a wide network of friends and fans. He clearly lived his life to the fullest, albeit a life cut short on Friday.