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Justice Denied

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Jason Solomon writes here about the horrifying and very much ongoing miscarriage of justice that is the Dan Markel murder mystery.

The mystery in this case is why, five years after the fact, Markel’s former mother-in-law and brother-in-law still haven’t been arrested for hiring the two men who murdered Markel.

Markel’s ex-wife Wendi Adelson is responsible for another awful twist to this tragedy, as she continues to refuse to let Markel’s parents have any contact with their grandchildren. As Solomon points out, this is not going to end well:

[T]here is a larger point here. Though this may not be part of the Ten Commandments, let me suggest a related rule: When your mother and brother murder your ex-husband, you don’t get to complain about your in-laws being insufficiently supportive of your parenting. You don’t get to hold a grudge about something they did three years ago that rubbed you the wrong way, or wish they were stronger candidates for in-laws of the year. Or you shouldn’t, anyway.

Wendi and Dan’s boys were robbed of the ability to grow up with a loving father. They deserve to know their paternal grandparents while they still can, to understand who they are and where they came from, to know they were not abandoned. We have seen in the immigration context the devastation that results when kids suddenly lose close family members without any explanation. Surely Wendi — an immigration advocate — knows this as well as anyone, and yet she separates families in her own life.

In the months ahead, Wendi and Dan’s boys — now 10 and 9 — are going to suffer a horrible tragedy all over again. They’re going to learn that Grandma Donna and Uncle Charlie — no doubt a big part of their lives right now — murdered their father. And when that happens, they’re going to need family: grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who they know love them and would never do anything to hurt them. They have such family on their father’s side — and even Wendi’s older brother Rob’s family on their mother’s — but they never see them.

When Ben and Lincoln find out about what Grandma Donna and Uncle Charlie did, they will no doubt cut them off, likely for the rest of their lives. Will they turn on their mother too? Trust me, teenage boys do that to parents in the best of circumstances. They’ll read and watch everything there is, and question whether Wendi was part of the murder plot too.

As indeed they should.

Even if we assume that, from a purely legal point of view, Adelson is only guilty of not taking her brother’s threat to hire a hitman to murder her ex-husband seriously, her so-far successful attempt to kill any relationship between Dan Markel’s family and his children is a serious moral crime. Meanwhile the law in its majestic equality continues to give the rich as well the very rich the right to get away with murder.

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