Recently, a California man pled guilty to the 2006 murder of Highway Patrolman Earl Scott. The defendant, Columbus Allen Jr., whose pre-trial proceedings took more than four years, will now spend the rest of his life in prison, having waived his appeals. The Stanislaus County district attorney originally sought the death penalty against Allen, but there were no guarantees that verdict would have been reached. Additionally, when the death penalty is imposed in California, years of appeals often follow, and it is not unusual for convicted murderers to outlive the family members of the murder victims. An editorial in the Modesto Bee noted that the plea will save the county over $1 million in additional expenses that would have been spent in a capital trial. Moreover, the paper noted, the emphasis can now be put on the victim, rather than on the pepetrator: "In recent years, it has seemed that Earl Scott was the forgotten victim and all the attention was on Allen, who went through multiple defense attorneys. Every time the trial was about to proceed, there would be another motion causing a delay. It was frustrating, even for those who value the process over a rush to justice. . . .[Now] Earl Scott . . . will be remembered - by his family and friends, of course, but also by his colleagues in law enforcement and by our community." Read full editorial below.