Conservatives, liberals, media advocates rally behind man jailed for criticizing Indiana judge

by FOXNews.com  |  published on March 5, 2013

free speech

A group of free-speech advocates is rallying behind an Indiana inmate serving two years for his online rants against a judge who took away his child-custody rights during a divorce case.

There’s no disputing that Daniel Brewington’s words were strong and angry — found in hundreds of emails over the course of the related, two-year divorce case.

But the group is asking the state’s highest court to decide whether they indeed amounted to criminal behavior.

Brewington was convicted in 2011 of perjury, intimidating a judge and attempting to obstruct justice — with the attorney general’s office successfully arguing that his threat was to expose the judge to “hatred, contempt, disgrace or ridicule.”

However, the group recently filed an amicus brief with the state Supreme Court arguing an appeals court decision in January upholding the felony intimidation charge threatens constitutionally protected speech about public officials.

The court will decide after the March 11 filing deadline on whether to take up the case.

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