Our expert says:
There was a plea bargain. This means that if you are accused of a serious crime and confess, saving the state all the expense of a trial, AND you can give valuable information and evidence leading to the prosecution and conviction of other people involved in the crime, the Prosecutors can decide to offer, as encouragement to do so, a lower sentence ( it often happens if you watch Law & Order on TV ! ). Refuse the deal, and you gamble on your chances in court where the sentence may be much higher if you are then convicted.
So properly used it can help to speed up justice AND to convict other people involved in a crime by providing extra testimony that might otherwise not be available.
So this wasn't an example of an entire trial proceeding in the usual way but unusually fast.
The driver has been convicted of the crime, so he personally would not anyway be tried for it again ( there is the rule of double jeopardy, too ).
I'm sure the knowledge that the world might be watching has made things more efficient and rapid in this particular case.
But I agree that it is imperative that the trials of the other conspirators, and of the husband as it appears he too will stand trial, should be conducted thoroughly to ensure that all the truth comes out. I think a sensible prosecutor would make it a condition of the bargained lower sentence that the confession must be entirely true and accurate and complete. There are many questions I would like to see asked of this driver, but presumably these will be heard when the others are on trial and he is testifying.
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