Saturday, March 12, 2011

1st Amendment Rights

By Matt Brewington

$500,000. Half of a million dollars. Dearborn County Judge Sally Blankenship set Dan Brewington’s bond at half of a million dollars.

Words cannot express the pain that the Dearborn County Judicial system has brought upon my family, friends, and supporters of my brother Dan. It is NOT the pain of wondering whether Dan is being treated with dignity and respect in the Dearborn County Jail or if he is feeling isolated and alone because they wouldn’t even allow his Ohio attorney to speak with him. That doesn’t sadden us. We know Dan is strong enough to handle any situation with a smile. No, what hurts the most is how prostitutes of injustice such as Judge Sally Blankenship, Judge James D. Humphrey and Prosecutor Aaron Negangard attempt to pull even the most upstanding citizens into the cynical, cesspool of arrogance and vindictiveness they call law. Their collective attempt to undermine our most basic of rights is an embarrassment to the vast majority of men and women all over this country who uphold the rule of law absent their personal opinions or beliefs regardless of how much it may pain them to do so.

How is it that the aforementioned, who, I assume, all have law degrees, need an elementary school class in civics? I don’t know. But here it is on the most basic level: there are three EQUAL branches of government, the legislative, executive and judicial. Our society has a long tradition of criticizing the legislative and executive branches. We drag our politicians through the mud but somehow fail to provide the judicial branch with the critiques and criticisms that are essential for the advancement of our more perfect union. So it is no wonder that, when void of these criticisms, a legal system such as the one in Dearborn County Indiana can still operate as if it were the Jim Crow south of the early 20th century.

Dan arrived at the Dearborn County Jail at 6:00am on Friday, March 11, 2011 to turn himself into authorities. He was processed and then at approximately 11:00am he went before Judge Sally Blankenship. Dan was informed of the charges against him including the charge of leaking Grand Jury information. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Joeseph Kisor told Judge Blankenship that Dan wrote online that he was going to release Grand Jury information but Mr. Kisor didn’t bother to mention that the link below his statement took readers to dialogue of the movie ”A Few Good Men.” Now I am not an attorney but I think that the charge of leaking grand jury information would require evidence of actual leaked grand jury information, not just a statement (obviously made in jest) of the intent to do so. Another comical interlude to an otherwise fascist 3 tent circus was the conditions of Dan’s potential bond. According to Judge Blankenship Dan was not to go to Judge Humphrey’s house, call, mail, or email him or his family, none of which Dan has EVER done. Also, Dan was not to write about anything to do with the case, and most disturbingly was not to have any “agent” write for him. Well, I have a message for Judge Blankenship: I am my own man and an “agent” of myself. My brother doesn’t tell me what to say or write and neither do you. Do you even understand your pathetic attempt to place a general gag order on all of Dan’s friends, family and supporters who are members of a community of nearly 2 billion internet users worldwide?

The Dearborn County Court system’s ignorance of our fundamental right to Freedom of Speech is beyond belief. I am embarrassed for the citizens of Dearborn County and the State of Indiana, and for all of us as citizens of The United States of America. Embarrassed that in the 21st Century a backwoods judicial system can still exist only a few minutes outside of a major metropolitan city.

My brother never even came close to the line of intimidating or threatening a judge or anyone else. He didn’t leak grand jury information or obstruct justice or perjure himself. He DID criticize judges and may have said things that weren’t very nice. (Boo hoo, sniff, sniff) Judge Humphrey wasn’t very nice to my two little nieces when he abruptly removed their loving father and family from them. Again, two and a half months after the final divorce proceedings Judge Humphrey arbitrarily decided that my brother MIGHT be a danger to his children with absolutely no evidence or testimony of any such danger or abuse. Those who know the story know the pain Dan deals with not having seen his children for over a year and a half. And a similar pain has been inflicted on a grandmother, uncle, great aunts and uncles and cousins of all ages who haven’t seen their two little girls either. We are family. And with many friends we run hundreds deep. I can almost smell the fresh cut lumber, poster board and markers that make up the protest signs. Hang tight Dan, federal help and First amendment attorneys are on the way. Media is on the way. Justice is on the way. We will prevail.


  1. Well said Matt, if you need some people to carry those signs, we will be at the front of the line. The horrible injustice done to a good man who only wanted to see his girls is sickening.

  2. Sarah Skaggs - Burlington, KYMarch 13, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    This is absolutely a miscarriage of justice!!!! Hang in there Dan, more people than you know are behind you.