Hey buddy, sorry I've been MIA with our gmail chat, things have gotten a lil crazy on my end between awaiting my bar exam results and looking for jobs every day and sometimes weekends, I'll respond to your last e-mail soon, promise!
Sorry to comment soooooooooooooooooooooooo late, but yes; your Agnostic fellow is also a wannabe writer (emphasis on wannabe). Right now, I'm working on a magic story with no title. I don't really have a full idea on what it is about but to probably best explain it right now, It's about a teenage girl who joins a growing guild in a continent where humans & mages hate each other on a big super-continent the size of Pangea. Right now, I'm working on different forms of magic the mages use (Elemental, Supplementary, Weapon-Based, Transformations and the like) and stuff. Originally, it was going to be a Fanfiction of the manga series Fairy Tail, but I thought that having my own story would look better on my resume, if you know what I mean.
In regards to the legal questions presented by TDKR, rules for criminal procedure in the United States are actually dictated by each of the 50 States, but they have to conform to certain rules dictated by our country's Supreme Court. So, that means each state can pass any kind of law they want as long as they don't violate any court rulings by the Court.
Now, in the United States you can't deny accused criminals access to courts. But once they've been tried and found guilty by a jury, then criminals lose many rights, such as the right to vote. Now, they could ask for a parole hearing, and if the panel of judges say so, they could be released early. And this is where the Dent Act comes in.
According to this link, the Dent Act claims that criminals who operated in an organized crime syndicate are immediately denied parole hearings. This is actually legal, since parole hearings are a privilege in the United States and not a right. So many criminals are denied parole right out of the gate when they first apply for a hearing.
Now, because of the truth behind Dent was revealed, does that invalidate the law and the criminals get out? Short answer, no. Long answer, no because these criminals were already found guilty and the Dent Act only affected their ability to get a parole hearing. A law is only invalidated in this country if it was found to be unconstitutional for whatever reason, but it has to be a reason that goes against our country's constitution or any laws established by the Federal government which are superior to state laws.
Finding out that the whole reason behind the law was a sham will not immediately invalidate the law, but it may give people pause for thought and demand to repeal the law. If that were to happen, the criminals still don't get to go free cause that means they are at the mercy of the panel of judges in the parole hearings.
Now, at the end of TDK, if Batman and Gordon had told the truth from the get go, it would not have invalidated any convictions that Dent had done. But that was the issue in that movie, there were NO convictions by the end of the movie. All the criminals were behind bars because they were ACCUSED of crimes, but a jury had not yet CONVICTED them and they were never sentenced to prison time. If the truth was revealed about Dent, that would have likely given the criminals' lawyers some ammunition by claiming their clients were falsely accused by a gun-totting psychopath. Since Batman took the fall for Dent's death, that removed that possibility I just described and may have even inspired the judges and other lawyers in the District Attorney's office to fiercely prosecute these criminals. Because of the beginning of TDKR, that looks to be the case.
Laws like the Dent Act are indeed at the discretion of legislatures here in the U.S., but the likelihood that such a law would actually be passed would be highly unlikely since the parole process in the U.S. is already difficult enough. I theorized that because this was Gotham City, the parole judges were bought by the mob bosses so they could be released early. Hence the necessity of the Dent Act.
Only problem I have with the Dent Act, is that the legislation was signed by the MAYOR of Gotham. This is bullshit. Pure, unbridled bullshit. Mayors cannot enact laws. Only governors and our President are allowed to sign into law any bills that come their way. Mayors and city governments must conform to the laws of the respective state they are in. This was kind of a stupid mistake of Nolan's part and someone on the marketing team, but I may forgive it because of the fact that Nolan is a British filmmaker who may not spend too much time here stateside. So no, you cities can't pass any laws like the Dent Act in the United States. They can pass regulations like controlling