Sure, prosecutors risked walking away empty-handed if they pursued the case. That’s a risk with any case. The question is how great was that risk — and would it have been worth the gamble?
Moreover, the deal deprives the families and public of a trial that could have brought out the facts. It leaves them unable to ascertain the wisdom of never bringing charges against the building owner, Chor Ng.
The families still have a civil case against Almena, Ng, the city of Oakland, PG&E and others. Perhaps we’ll learn more from that case, which is scheduled to begin in October 2019.