Thursday, August 04, 2011
BLOGGER"S CASE RAISES MANY QUESTIONS
Blogger's Case Raises Many Questions
Written by Christine Brauer Mueller and previously published in the Register July 28.
Dan Brewington faced off against the Dearborn County court systems in a divorce/custody proceeding in 2009 and criticized the justice system on his blog - danbrewington.blogspot.com.
According to Erika SchmidtRussell’s article in the Thursday, July 14, Register, he is currently being held at the Dearborn County Jail, charged with intimidation, releasing grand jury information, perjury, and obstruction of justice. He has been in jail for over four months, since March 11 with delays from having one public defender and two judges withdraw.
Visit http://www.dearborncounty.blogspot.com/ for background information on this case. Both the Register and Dearborn County Public Forum sources raise even more questions about our county’s justice system and possible causes for jail overcrowding.
If I were “journalist for a day,” these are questions I would ask about the Dan Brewington case.
Why has Dan Brewington’s own pro bono attorney from Cincinnati, Robert Kelly, been denied attorney-client privileged access to him in the county jail?
Why did Judge Sally Blankenship set Brewington’s bond higher than most other defendants, including accused child molesters, when he has no prior criminal record? (Blankenship withdrew from the case six days later)
How does John Watson, the first court appointed public defender, explain 3 separate emergencies preventing meeting with his client or attending the original pretrial hearing? Why did it take attorney Watson two months to realize he had cases before Judge Humphrey, and then recuse himself?
Did Watson presume that Brewington, like most defendants, would take the prosecutor’s plea deal?
The court appointed Brewington’s second public defender, Bryan E Barrett, on June 20, more than three months after he was put in jail. They met for the first time July 18, the morning of his pretrial hearing.
Brewington’s jury trial is set for August 16. How can a defendant form a defense if he doesn’t have a reasonable amount of time to meet with his lawyer? The investigative report by Mike Kreinhop was filed in 2009. Why did Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard wait until 2011 to convene the grand jury, five days after Brewington’s disciplinary grievance against Negangard was dismissed? If the allegations were so serious, how does the prosecutor explain his nearly two-year tardiness after the alleged threats?
Does the medical doctor used by the County Jail have experience in dealing with ADHD? Did he consult with Brewington’s personal physician about his treatment plan?
How do the sheriff and jail commander defend withholding and then altering Mr. Brewington’s prescribed medication after receiving written instructions from Brewington’s medical doctor’s justifying the medication and dosage? Was there a plan to deny Brewington’s ADHD medication in order to hamper his ability to contribute to his own defense?
Should citizens fear retribution from public officials when they criticize them in a public forum? What is the difference between criticism and legally defined intimidation? Do First Amendment Rights to Free Speech protect Brewington’s writings?
The charges against Brewington seem overly broad. Are there specific details of the events or writing that constitute the basis for each charge?
If so, when did they occur and why were they not detailed in the charges? Was the grand jury given access to all of Brewington’s writings or selective statements taken out of context?
Is Brewington’s treatment by our justice system typical? If so, how many of these situations contribute to our need for a $12 million taxpayer-funded jail expansion?