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The Defense Culpability Act was a law enacted by the former queen of Khura'in, Ga'ran Sigatar Khura'in. The act was as follows: "In the name of Her Eminence, those who would support criminals will be deemed just as guilty." The act was passed on June 14, c. 2005 and nullified on May 19, 2028 with the queen's dethronement and arrest.
The Defense Culpability Act stated that, if an attorney tried to defend an accused person of a crime, and he or she failed to find the accused "not guilty", the attorney would be subjected to the same punishment as the accused. Under that act, many defense attorneys met with grizzly fates; some were sent to prison, subjected to slavery, or even received the death penalty. It was for this very reason that, before Phoenix Wright came along, there had been no attorneys left in Khura'in, and why Ahlbi Ur'gaid tried to dissuade Wright from defending him. However, the law was not restricted only to defense attorneys, but also applied to anybody assisting a person who was eventually found guilty in court, no matter their reason for doing so or whether or not they were doing it willingly.
While seemingly made for religious reasons and to prevent the rise of another Dhurke Sahdmadhi, in truth it was the culmination of a scheme by Ga'ran to give herself an iron grip on Khura'in through its legal system. By discrediting defense attorneys as "unclean", prosecutors like Ga'ran were naturally regarded as heroes and saints, giving them special privileges and prestige to do as they wanted without true legal repercussion. It also gave her and Inga Karkhuul Khura'in legal excuse to do anything they wanted to their political enemies, to the point where Inga would regularly carry around a stamp meant for authorizing executions in his mouth purely to deal with the paperwork conveniently.
However, while the DC Act was intimidating enough to completely eradicate the profession of defense attorney in Khura'in, its validity depended on Ga'ran's authority as queen due to its phrasing and having been enacted during her reign. As such, the law was declared null and void in 2028 when Ga'ran was deposed.
- Main article: Assassination attempt of Amara Sigatar Khura'in
The Defense Culpability Act was made when the home of Queen Amara Sigatar Khura'in was set on fire. Dhurke Sahdmadhi was blamed for the act and he defended himself in court against Amara's sister Ga'ran Sigatar Khura'in, who was prosecutor and Minister of Justice at the time. Dhurke was close to being not guilty, but Ga'ran suddenly accused him of forging evidence forcing him to go into hiding. The incident sparked a great hatred for defense attorneys in Khura'in, and thus the DC act was made.
The tragedy of a priest and his familyEdit
- Main article: The Rite of Turnabout
It was because of how the Defense Culpability Act functioned that the high priest of Khura'in, Tahrust Inmee, was forced to kill himself in order to save his wife Beh'leeb Inmee and his then unborn child Faitah Inmee from being convicted and put to death due to Beh'leeb's accidental killing of acolyte Puhray Zeh'lot in self-defense. In the process, Tahrust framed Maya Fey for his own murder as well as Neh'mu's to throw suspicion off of his wife, as the absence of lawyers in Khura'in due to the Defense Culpability would make it next to impossible to prove that Neh'mu had been killed in self-defense.
When Wright lost Fey's trial for Tahrust's murder to rival prosecutor Nahyuta Sahdmadhi, he, alongside Fey, was found guilty under the Defense Culpability Act and sentenced to death. It would not be until the trial for Neh'mu's murder the following day that their sentence was overturned and Wright proved that Beh'leeb had acted in self-defense, allowing Tahrust to finally move on with no further regrets. This incident was dubbed the "DCA Tragedy" and made some people in Khura'in realize the act wasn't so good after all.
- Main article: Turnabout Revolution
During the last trial, where Apollo Justice accues queen Ga'ran of killing her husband Inga, Ga'ran says since Nahyuta Sahdmadhi gave a false testimoney to protect her, under the Defense Culpability Act it would make him just as guilty. However, Apollo was able to finally get the DC act null and void by proving that Ga'ran had no spiritual powers and therefore no claim to the throne.