Does this sort of thing happen regularly, or is this the one case you know about?
This is the one case in the news right at this time, edgar. But the judicial system in Hawaii has come in for its share of criticism in the past, as has the whole investigative arm of the various police agencies (Hawaii is one of only two states which has no state police; all policing is at a county, island-by-island level). Interestingly, the judge in this case, Glenn Hara, has been criticised in the past for handing down unusually harsh sentences for drug-related offenses. Appare ntly Judge Hara considers possession of methamphetamines or marijuana more reprehensible than homicide.
If you read the whole story contained in my link, edgar, you saw that the excuse given for accepting a plea bargain was that without a confession it might have been impossible to secure a conviction. To me that seems like one hell of an admission for any prosecutor's office to make. Are they saying that they are not competent to gather enough material evidence to secure a conviction? Or are they saying that the courtroom technique of their prosecutorial staff is so poor that they could not sway a jury? In either case it's a shameful confession.