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Blogger Brewington seeks rehearing, wants Rush to recuse

June 16, 2014

A blogger whose intimidation convictions arising from a child-custody dispute were affirmed by the Indiana Supreme Court is seeking a rehearing in an effort to vacate his convictions.

Representing himself, Daniel Brewington also asks that Justice Loretta Rush disqualify from the case that drew national attention for its First Amendment implications. Brewington’s pro se motions were filed with the Indiana Supreme Court earlier this month, according to the docket in Daniel Brewington v. State, 15S01-1405-CR-309.

Last month, justices unanimously affirmed Brewington’s convictions for intimidation of a judge and obstruction of justice but stipulated the ruling did not implicate First Amendment freedom of speech protections.

Rush authored the 35-page opinion that held Brewington’s “statements and conduct, understood in their full context, clearly were meant to imply credible threats to the victims’ safety.

Brewington argues the state tried and convicted him for constitutionally protected speech and failed to provide examples of his conduct that constituted a threat. He argues structural and fundamental error in a ruling “replete with factual inaccuracies and confusion of events in time; many of which are a product of the fouled trial process.”

In asking for Rush’s recusal, Brewington notes a 1998 home invasion in which Rush and her husband were victimized by a former ward of the state to whom Rush years earlier had been a guardian ad litem as giving rise to questions about her ability to be impartial. Brewington also argues Rush’s professional relationship with judges who are parties in the case merit her recusal.

“Due to the numerous errors in the trial record, which confused even this Court, reliance on false pretense of fear to define threats; and the structural, fundamental, gross, and/or plain errors that deprived Brewington of nearly every constitutional protection during his criminal case, the Court should grant rehearing and reverse all convictions or remand the matter back for a new trial,” Brewington concludes his rehearing petition.


 

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