‘Speculation and opinion, not fact’

Monroe /
| 05 Jan 2021 | 02:25

    In the Jan. 1-7, 2021 edition of your paper, a press release from the office of the Orange County District Attorney was reported.

    In it, the DA attributes the rise in opioid-related deaths in 2020 to COVID-19 and “the State’s misguided bail reform legislation ... resulting in some people in desperate need of drug-abuse treatment being released before they could be connected to life-saving services.”

    As an Orange County resident, I am aware of the highly contentious policy debate surrounding the issue of judicial reform, both before and after the implementation of the new legislation.

    Much of the opposition to the reform was based on fears for public safety and I suspect that many of those fears were driven by politically driven exaggerations and falsehoods.

    No one could oppose the DA’s efforts to promote opioid awareness, but are there now unbiased studies supporting the kind of attribution of cause that the DA is making?

    Can anyone point to any substantial accounting of verified cases in which the kind of scenario that is described in the DA’s press release actually occurred?

    I suspect not.

    Just because you can imagine something, doesn’t mean that it is so.

    These days, it is not unusual for elected officials to exaggerate and falsify in their official statements. Perhaps we could wait for verified data before declaring the entire bail reform legislation to be “misguided.”

    Until then, even if it comes from the DA’s office, it is still speculation and opinion, not fact.

    Richard Gilbert