At the heart of the intimidation issue is a series of online rants in which Dan Brewington called Humphrey a “child abuser” and “corrupt” and accused him of unethical and illegal behavior. This is typical of Brewington whom I consider to be a hothead as well as a bit of a petulant child. Brewington irritated me so badly after I wrote about his case that I decided to drop it, although I had promised to write a follow up column. It takes a lot to annoy me into dropping a case before it is resolved. But the fact that Brewington is a blow hard who exercises bad judgment doesn't mean Humphrey is innocent.
Brewington's argument that Humphrey's taking away his children amounted to child abuse is a childish overreaction. But court records also show that Judge Humphrey overreacted to this childishness - and in a rather childish way. Those records show he felt threatened enough to get a gun out of storage, install a home-security system, and get protection from a police detail. Absent any specific threat, none of this was really necessary.
Last week, I spoke to Dan Brewington's attorney Michael K. Sutherlin. He said his client may not have had “the rhetorical skill of Thomas Paine” but that he had a right "to complain about unfair treatment by an oppressive system.” Indeed, he did. But now he's in prison.
Executive ordered drone attacks will not be needed to bring about the end of due process in America. It is already happening at the hands of abusive judges. And there's no more effective way to curb judicial abuses than by freedom of speech and freedom of the press. To paraphrase Justice Brandeis, sunlight is a powerful disinfectant.
Unfortunately, Humphrey was not the only judge who abused his authority in the Brewington matter. The conduct of the judge presiding over the criminal case also has some questions to answer. We turn to him in the next part of this series.
To be continued...