In Cold Blood

What is the significance of Nye's statement to Dick, during the interrogation?

Nye's statement:

"But you made two mistakes. One was, you left a witness. A living witness. Who'll testify in court. Who'll stand in the witness box and tell a jury how Richard Hickock and Perry Smith bound and gagged and slaughtered four helpless people."

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Last updated by Aslan
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Nye is able to get Dick to spill a lot more information by threatening Dick with the possibility of a living witness.