By Lorelei Olivas
IRVINE, CA – Orange County District Attorney candidate and former Marine Judge Advocate Pete Hardin condemned incumbent OC District Attorney Todd Spitzer for his alleged exploitation of victims amid a fentanyl overdose crisis, saying that Spitzer is simply using them for political advancement.
Spitzer is one of a few California prosecutors who want to begin charging fentanyl dealers with murder if they deal drugs that cause a user to die. Other prosecutors that support this move are those from Riverside and San Bernardino.
George Gascón, Los Angeles County’s District Attorney, does not support it.
Hardin claims that Spitzer is exploiting victims for media coverage and making promises he cannot keep.
“Absent intent to kill, there is simply no legal mechanism for a murder charge in overdose deaths, and when these cases fail he will pull the rug out from vulnerable, grieving family members hoping to see accountability,” said Hardin.
DA Spitzer argues that people are not simply dying from overdoses but are being murdered.
“These dealers are essentially handing a loaded gun to unsuspecting victims knowing they will probably die, and they don’t care,” said Spitzer.
Hardin says that Spitzer should apologize to victims and “return to the drawing board in concert with experts and community leaders to develop a solution that doesn’t come at the expense of the survivors he has sworn to protect and serve.”