Oral Arguments Thurs. In Blogger’s Free Speech Case
By Mike Perleberg
Dan Brewington in a photo posted on his blog following his September 5 release from an Indiana prison. Oral arguments in his appeal of a criminal conviction for Intimidation of a Judge will be heard by the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – An internet blogger is out of prison, but is still appealing his conviction to the Indiana Supreme Court.
Cincinnati resident Dan Brewington was convicted of Intimidation of a Judge and other charges during a 2011 jury trial in Dearborn County. A special judge, Brian Hill of Rush County, sentenced him to five years in prison.
Prosecutors said Brewington threatened in his voluminous blog postings Dearborn Circuit Court Judge James D. Humphrey. The judge had presided over Brewington’s 2008 divorce and child custody case.
Brewington appealed his conviction. In January, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned Brewington’s conviction on two charges of Intimidation relating to Humphrey’s wife and the custody evaluator in the case, Dr. Edward Connor. However, the blogger’s convictions for Intimidation of a Judge, Attempted Obstruction of Justice, and Perjury were upheld – along with the full length of his prison sentence.
In a case that is being monitored by free speech advocates across the country, Brewington has taken the case to the Indiana Supreme Court.
The justices will hear arguments in Brewington v. State of Indiana at 9:00 a.m. Thursday in Indianapolis. They will hear 30 minutes each from Brewington’s attorney and a representative from the Indiana Attorney General’s Office. A ruling isn’t expected for at least a few weeks later.
Observers interested in the case can watch the arguments online at the Indiana Supreme Court website, https://mycourts.in.gov/arguments/default.aspx.
According to the Indiana Department of Corrections, Brewington was released from prison at the Putnamville Correctional Facility on Friday, September 5. He served about half of his five year sentence behind bars thanks to Indiana’s good time law allowing convicts to earn two days for each day on good behavior.
The most recent posting at Brewington’s blog – Dan’s Adventures in Taking on the Family Courts – on September 8 told of his release.
“The Brewington family, Dan, Matt, and Sue are extremely grateful and gratified by the welcome home response from family, friends, and other supporters from our wonderful Norwood, OH community and around the country. Best wishes started to appear on facebook as we came in I 74 and when we arrived there was a banner in the front yard. Apparently there are numerous people in the country that feel freedom of speech is one of our most essential freedoms,” the post read.