After Maya leaves Phoenix after Case 1-4 to train more as a spirit medium, Phoenix gets depressed and refuses to take any cases (except 1-5) until case 2-2... months later! How many innocent people did he neglect to help?!!
Actually, he resumed taking cases after 1-5 (see the ending again). Plus, there are other defense attorneys out there. It's not like Phoenix is the only one.
More a Fridge Tear Jerker, but if you take into account his blindness and recently comatose status, it's not really a stretch to think that Godot is basically dying from the effects of Dahlia's poison and might not live very long after he is jailed.
Also, wasn't Godot slashed with a dagger in the face the day before, without receiving medical treatment? He could have been dying of blood loss.
Not to mention the sheer amount of caffeine that man ingests. Also, The portraits Larry drew (which we see during the epilogue of Trials and Tribulations) seem to suggest that he has, in fact, passed away.)
On the subject of Fridge Tear Jerker, it's established that when people in the ''Ace Attorney'-verse die, they linger in some form as a spirit and thus can be channeled by spirit mediums. It also seems that they can watch what goes on with the living. So it's possible that Gregory Edgeworth spent fifteen years watching his son blame himself for committing patricide, being raised by von Karma, and eventually giving up on his ideals and goals in life. And there's nothing that can be done about it.
In the first game's second case, Gumshoe recognizes Phoenix as Larry's attorney from the first case, and constantly refers to Larry as "the killer". As a defense attorney, Phoenix is sometimes treated with mistrust and derision. Between this treatment and Gumshoe's (a veteran, if simple, detective) name calling, criminals in Ace Attorney are pretty much judged before they ever reach trial. Given the rapidity of trials in the game, it makes you wonder how many innocent people are in prison or were executed simply due to the legal system's bias against the accused.
It's actually explicitly stated in the opening of that first game that the criminal system is set up as "guilty until proven innocent", with a limited amount of time allowed in each case, and several other statutes that basically are designed to end the cases as quickly as possible.
Furthermore, the Ace Attorney system originated as an indictment of Japan's legal system, where 'guilty until proven innocent' is the norm, and defence lawyers are vilified for defending suspects whether they're guilty or not and it's not rare for one to never win a case in his career.
Although it should be noted that in Japan the court proceedings are rarely even started before the prosecution can put together a waterproof case. A prosecutor who starts up a case against a person who turns out to be innocent will soon find himself in trouble.
On that note, you know how Gant controlled the legal system via Lana for the two years before the first game? How many innocent people did he get put in jail or get executed? And how much trouble did he cause Phoenix in his cases before Rise From The Ashes?
It's not even just Gant. Think about all the prosecutors (except Godot, because he was only one for a very short time, and lost all his cases) and how much you like them (except Manfred and Payne). How many innocent lives have Edgeworth and Franziska destroyed before they began to reform themselves after being defeated by Phoenix? And how many innocent lives did Klavier destroy in those seven years between Phoenix's disbarment and the trial of Vera Misham?
Actually, the prosecutor in Apollo Justice probably didn't destroy many innocent lives, if any. Unlike every other prosecutor in the game, he is most definitely not an Amoral Attorney. He does however, stand by his work, and will pick apart every mistake a defense attorney makes.
Also a Fridge Tear Jerker, with a horrifying psychological element. In Apollo Justice Ace Attorney, Prosecutor Klavier Gavin proves himself a Big Damn Hero by pointing out the loophole which allows his big brother, Kristoph Gavin, to be brought to justice. Previous games in the series have made it clear that those who commit more than one murder face capital punishment (in itself a bit of a Fridge Horror if you don't believe in capital punishment), eg. Dahlia Hawthorne in T&T, who describes her hanging when she's channeled in the final case. So here we have a guy, in a series where sibling relationships consistently have a high value placed on them, knowingly condemning his own brother to death. To make it worse, this case occurs shortly after he had to condemn his long-time best friend, bandmate and colleague to life imprisonment, not long after finding out his brother was a murderer in the first place. Even, as Ace Attorney goes, that's quite a stomping to give one character's mental state over a short period.
Meanwhile Apollo, once an orphan, finds his lost sister and mother, gains Phoenix as a sort of surrogate father/mentor, uncovers his special power... everything goes great for him and crap for Klavier, they're more foil to each-other than they first appear. Somewhat Fride Logic-y.
Also, Trucy. When she's little, her dad is forced to flee the country because Kristoph fucking Gavin got his attorney disbarred; when he comes back seven years later, Kristoph murders him while he plays poker with Phoenix. It's later revealed that teenaged Trucy hangs out in the poker den with Phoenix and helps him cheat at games using her magical power of perception — was she there that night?
Dahlia Hawthorne was (unfortunately) never proven guilty for her first murder. In fact, this is one of the very few times what happens to the killers is explicitly discussed. So the idea that two murders is a guaranteed execution can't be proven. Somehow, I don't think Damon Gant got the death penalty (but that's just speculation on my part).
To the above, while Dahlia was not proven guilty of her murder of Valerie, she WAS proven guilty of the murder of Doug Swallow and the poisoning of Diego Armando, which at the time, if I'm not mistaken, was thought to be a murder.
The Apollo Justice series is filled with this sort of Fridge Tear Jerker/Horror. We know that Maya and Pearls are around, even if they don't show up in the game, by the stack of Steel Samurai DVDs in Phoenix's hospital room. But where's Edgeworth? The Phoenix Wright arc frequently comes back to the point of their relationship, and stresses that whenever he is needed, the reformed prosecutor will appear and offer his support and help. According to Apollo Justice, Phoenix is subsequently disbarred, tried for murder, hit by a speeding car... Where are you, Edgeworth? Not dead, I hope. ... Ohshi-
Pfft. As if. Can you see Maya expecting reports about the DVDs? No, this was a team effort. She's not the only adult Steel Samurai fan, after all.
There is Fridge Horror, and then there is deliberately stretching for the point of inventing Fridge Horror. Miles Edgeworth is an important enough character that killing him off would be something that we would explicitly be made aware of, not something that happens randomly offscreen and then never mentioned or alluded to. A lot of time has passed between the Phoenix Wright Trilogy and Apollo Justice. Any number of things could have happened to Edgeworth, and there is an equal amount of evidence to support all of them (specifically, there is none), so panicking about an Inferred Endor Holocaust that is never actually inferred at any point accomplishes nothing. We don't see a lot of Phoenix in Apollo Justice at all; it's not Phoenix's story, it's Apollo's. Phoenix is a very important figure to Apollo, but it's still not his story. For all we know, Phoenix could be going down to a weekly poker night with Edgeworth, Franziska, and Gumshoe, or heading to the movies with Maya and Pearls on Tuesday, or etc. etc., but we don't see it because none of these characters are relevant to Apollo Justice and his story.
Ace Attorney 5: confirms he's alive.
In Ace Attorney Investigations 2, similar to what Gant is speculated to have done Ema, Bansai does something very similar to Yumihiko. When Yumihiko finally confronts him in court during the final case, Bansai actually leaves the witness stand to approach him, suggesting Yumihiko wants to "play" and that the two of them should go home. He's trembling and is TERRIFIED when his father says this with Yumihiko's actual moving sprite going backwards. Bansai's sprite even approaches him when Yumihiko tries to weakly fight back. If it weren't for Edgeworth demanding that he get back on the witness stand so the trial could continue, Yumihiko might have broken down again, but the implication is very obvious.
While it was very heartwarming to find out that Iris really did love Phoenix during the time she was dating him, she did it in order to help Dahlia get away with attempted murder and didn't explain the deception for over half a decade... even when Phoenix was being put on trial for a different murder that was committed while the real perpetrator was preparing to murder him and would have been executed if he wasn't proven innocent. Her almost overwhelming guilt at the end is very well earned.
In the case "Turnabout Beginnings" in Trials and Tribulations Terry Fawles mentions that his kidnapping of Dahlia Hawthorne was staged and that she was his girlfriend. It is important to note that she was 14 years old at the time, while a quick bit of subtraction shows that he was 20 years old. He was a 20 year old man with a 14 year old girlfriend.
Moreover, he met her because he was her tutor, and from there she became his girlfriend.
The games become a lot less whimsical when you realize that Japan's court system is pretty much exactly like how it is presented in the games, not to mention the fact that Phoenix and others really would be social pariahs for being defense attorneys.
It's Fridge Horror all around the world, thanks to the fact that Reality Is Unrealistic and for every "that could never happen", there's a contradicting incident of something that improbable, unrealistic, unlawful, or just plain horrifying happening.
In both the second and third games, the "penalty" bar is the same as the bar used for cracking Psyche-Locks. If the bar runs out when cracking Psyche-Locks, a spirit (who may be trapped in the Magatama) warns Phoenix or Edgeworth that if he continues, his soul will shatter. Considering that the game uses the same bar in the courtroom, does that mean that every penalty is literally a jab at the defense's soul?