Some of you may have seen the occasional and sometimes voluminous posts of data pertinent to his prosecution. Some of you may have taken the time to read bits of his posts found at http://danbrewington.blogspot.com/, and a few, like myself, may have even taken the time to read most of what is there. So far, little direct commentary has been offered here on the subject, as we felt that the information and commentary elsewhere spoke for itself. We had fully expected that, at some point, those persisting in this prosecution would come to the realization that their efforts were both unwise and without foundation. Based on the attitudes exhibited in this post (http://danbrewington.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-to-fix-grand-jury-like-dearborn_29.html) it would seem that is not to be.
Perhaps it is a simple failing our educational institutions, but it seems odd that those who are at the core of our justice system in Dearborn County, supposedly possessing degrees in certification of higher learning could be so ignorant of what the Constitution really means in it's assertion of Free Speech. They profess a limit on this Freedom (and there surely are limits but not what they intend), then proceed to define that limit to serve their own interests. I offer what follows so that both you and they can understand the realities of the issue. Please bear with me and read on...
It is a grim time. It seems we live once again in a world like that of England of old, when a man could be imprisoned for criticizing the King or his Nobles. In those days such an act was called "Seditious Libel". These days, at least in Dearborn County, they call it "Intimidation". (When I compare the weblog postings upon which the prosecution depends, I can find little difference between what the prosecutor calls intimidation and the description of seditious libel below). In those days truth was not a defense and offenders were routinely crushed by those with the power to do so. It appears little has changed in all these years. While we have no Aristocracy (and certainly no nobility) to lord it over us, we have Sheriffs and Judges and a Prosecutor more than happy to take up that mantle.
Fortunately for the accused, these days we have something called the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the very first amendment of which states:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
The following is a collection of excerpts relevant to Mr Brewingtons current situation from ...
Original Meaning: Freedom of Speech or of the Press
- Summary: Freedom of Speech or of the Press can be defined as the freedom from seditious laws of libel so people can openly discuss or criticize government policy or conduct of public agents without fear of being charged with a seditious crime.
How can we know for sure the freedom of speech or of the press means freedom from seditious libel? All early American laws over speech and the press dealt solely with breaches of the peace or public morality (blasphemy, obscenity, profanity, etc.), but never laws criminalizing public discussion of public measures, grievances or criticism of public officials.
...Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics and limited monarchies derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.
The Democratic-Republican caucus included the following in their 1800 platform: “An inviolable preservation of the Federal constitution, according to the true sense in which it was adopted by the states. … Freedom of speech and the press; and opposition, therefore, to all violations of the Constitution, to silence, by force, and not by reason, the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their public agents.”
Their purpose (of the free-speech clauses) has evidently been to protect parties in the free publication of matters of public concern, to secure their right to a free discussion of public events and public measures, and to enable every citizen at any time to bring the government and any person in authority to the bar of public opinion by any just criticism upon their conduct in the exercise of the authority which the people have conferred upon them. … The evils to be prevented were not the censorship of the press merely, but any action of the government by means of which it might prevent such free and general discussion of public matters as seems absolutely essential to prepare the people for an intelligent exercise of their rights as citizens.
Finally, as Mr. Brewington's prosecution now proceeds apace, I would suggest that regardless of the outcome of this trial the Citizens of Dearborn County will be the losers. If Mr. Brewington is convicted we will all be on notice that there are no limits to what we may suffer at the hands of our local justice system and those who operate it as if the Bill of Rights never existed. Open your mouth or get out of line, crime or no crime, and you can expect to spend six months in jail, even without a trial. If Mr. Brewington is convicted, given that the charges are almost completely baseless and his defense has been utterly incompetent, it will almost certainly be overturned on appeal, meaning all of our tax dollars spent on this pointless personal vendetta will have been wasted. Additionally, if the prosecution fails it will further bolster the Civil Rights suit Mr Brewington has filed against these individuals. It is a suit he will almost certainly win. We the tax payers of Dearborn County will bear that financial burden. We will deserve the cost of the judgment he will be awarded for having failed to make clear to our elected officials in the justice system that this sort of abuse of their authority is unacceptable in the first place.
As a former commissioner used to like to quote:
A. Dearborn Citizen