Humphrey, a former prosecutor who has served as judge since , told The Star he cannot comment because of his position and the fact he is a victim in the pending case. But court records show the judge felt so threatened that he took precautions, including removing a gun that had long been in storage and and taking a training course to use it.
Humphrey also installed a home-security system and received law-enforcement escorts to and from work. The continuing stream of angry posts Brewington published on his blog and website prompted Aaron Negangard, the prosecutor for Dearborn and Ohio counties, to call a grand jury.
The panel returned six indictments March 7, The prolific blogger was convicted seven months later, following a three-day jury trial, on intimidation charges involving the judge, the judge's wife and a psychologist in the divorce case; attempting to commit obstruction of justice; and perjury. In January, the state Court of Appeals overturned his convictions for intimidating the psychologist and judge's wife but upheld the others.
Brewington, jailed since he was indicted in March , is now at the Putnamville Correctional Facility in Greencastle, Ind. He is scheduled for release in September. The Court of Appeals decision poses a serious threat that extends far beyond Brewington, said lawyer Gavin Rose of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which also filed a request for a review.
The ruling in Brewington's case has the potential to affect all Indiana residents because it criminalizes protected speech, including criticism of public officials' actions, he said.
Indiana high court asked to review jailed blogger case
The law correctly bars threats of blackmail and physical violence that are made face to face or likely to be carried out, he said. The problem is that it also prohibits statements that threaten to "expose the person threatened to hatred, contempt, disgrace, or ridicule," Volokh said.
In Volokh's petition, he cites another example of what could be interpreted as violating the law: Picketing a store with signs that say the owner's decision to stock a certain product is disgraceful in the hope the speech will expose the owner to disgrace and ostracism. And that is a very, very serious restraint on speech.
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The coalition seeking the Indiana Supreme Court's review of the case against Daniel Brewington is a mix of conservatives, liberals, academics and media advocates. American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.
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