On Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 11:30am Oral Arguments were held in the case of Daniel Brewington vs. State of Indiana. The arguments were held in a Court of Appeals Courtroom in the Indiana Statehouse Building, Indianapolis.
To watch the arguments go to https://mycourts.in.gov/arguments/default.aspx. CAUTION: You have to fast forward through 8 minutes of the main screen and then the hearing begins. Each side gets 20 minutes. Dan, represented by Michael K. Sutherlin and Sam Adams, chose to speak for 15 min and reserve 5 min. If you have never seen one of these you will probably be surprised. The judges can interrupt and question as often as they want. It must be frustrating for the lawyers arguing, but that is the way the process works. Dan was never scheduled to attend the proceedings. Sue and Matt Brewington, Dan’s Aunt Jane, and attorney Robert G. Kelly sat behind Sutherlin and Adams.
A three judge panel of appellate judges are assigned to each case. The judges assigned to Dan’s case were Judge Carr Darden, Judge Elaine Brown, and Judge Ezra Friedlander. In what appeared to be a last minute change, two justices were replaced, no reason given. The new panel of judges consisted of Judges Baker, Riley, and Darden. Judge Darden was on the original panel. To read the biographies of the Judges see the following links;
http://www.in.gov/judiciary/appeals/2460.htmJudge John Baker’s bio
http://www.in.gov/judiciary/appeals/2450.htm Patricia Riley
http://www.in.gov/judiciary/appeals/2452.htmCarr Darden Ret. Special Judge
Deputy Attorney General J. T. Whitehead represented the State. Dearborn County Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard sat next to Mr. Whitehead but did not speak. Deputy Dearborn County Prosecutor Joseph Kisor, Dearborn County Circuit Court Judge James D. Humphrey and his wife, Heidi Humphrey, and Edward and Sara Connor, custody evaluators from Erlanger, Kentucky sat behind Mr. Whitehead.
At the end of the hearing Judge John Baker cautioned viewers, especially those in cyberspace, not to draw any conclusions from the questions asked by the judges.
Michael Sutherlin first questioned why a police officer was stationed in the courtroom because it was unexpected. Judge Baker’s response is on the tape but he said it wasn’t that odd, they do that frequently these days, it was holiday time and that the officer was there to keep the Judge awake.
Mr. Sutherlin also asked about 11 court case summaries that Deputy Attorney General Whitehead filed on November 14, 2012 to be able to use in Oral Arguments. Dan’s attorneys did not receive these 11 cases until Monday, November 19, 2012 and they immediately filed asking that Mr. Whitehead not be able to use these cases at this late date. Mr. Whitehead’s deadline for his brief was around June 20, 2012 and now, at this late date, he wanted to add to his brief. I believe the judges said they would comment on the request later but this is also on the tape.
The presentations and questioning began. The court sticks to the time frame.
When viewing the court hearing the camera apparently has two positions, the attorneys at the lectern and the judges as they are speaking. The observers on camera are Judge James and Heidi Humphrey, Deputy Dearborn County Prosecutor Joseph Kisor, two assistants, and a partial Edward Connor.
The Judges and their clerks will also rely on the appellant brief, the appellee brief, and the appellant reply. http://www.danbrewington.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2012-08-20T21:06:00-04:00&max-results=7 These give a more in depth idea to what is being argued in this case.
Any comments or questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org Once again thanks to everyone who has followed this case and been so supportive of Dan and our family.