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Magneto spends the better part of the X-Men trilogy trying to exterminate all human life on earth, being imprisoned and subsequently killing his way out. Afterwards, why was he left free to roam sunny parks playing chess against himself? Is it because he is (temporarily?) powerless, and so he is now acquitted?

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3  
Yeah, thats about normal for Marvel Comics. –  Andrei Freeman Jun 2 '12 at 14:27
    
What, they caught him? I always assumed he ran away, after realizing his powers were gone... –  Clockwork-Muse Dec 11 '12 at 20:31
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I assume that because he no longer has powers (and is no longer a mutant) they see him as no threat. The main idea of prison is to rehabilitate criminals so they can be released back into society safely. Magneto losing his powers was his rehabilitation as such.

I assume the authorities think that Magneto's power loss is permanent so he will no longer want mutants to take over the world and it's safe to have him in society.

It's like losing his powers is punishment enough for all the crimes he committed. At the end of the day it is Marvel so they mightn't want to appear to punish Magneto even further.

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Boy are they going to feel silly (assuming another x-men comes out of that series) when he gets his power back. –  TylerShads Jun 4 '12 at 15:10
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It's been confirmed that there will be a X-men 4 and 5. Still waiting on the list of returning actors though. –  user1964 Sep 19 '12 at 15:18
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There's also the US constitution to consider. The 3rd movie made clear that mutants were now recognized by the government and receiving representation on the president's cabinet.
The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment to the US Constitution says:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. [Wikipedia] [US Constitution]

With these rights, Magneto's treatment before and during the events of X2 were illegal, and likely received much outrage when brought to light at the end of X2. The third film also discusses the morality of a 'cure', and the use of the 'cure' in weaponized form. This could also be a major legal/political issue, and likely angered a large portion of the mutant community.

With a president that is supportive of mutant rights, and as it could be believed that the 'cure' was final, it's possible that the government either pardoned or decided not to prosecute a now-broken old man who is believed to no longer be capable of posing a threat.

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From what I remember, Magneto was never a U.S citizen, unless (assuming you consider First Class as canon), they did so when he briefly worked for the government against Shaw. –  TylerShads Dec 11 '12 at 17:41
    
True, but the 14th amendment goes on to say that any person, not just citizens, have a right to equal protection under the law.(edited answer to emphasize better) If that were not the case, I think a lot of people (in-universe) would not make a distinction between them for the matters of torture, so it would still be a major political issue, if not a legal one. –  Padenton Dec 11 '12 at 19:16
    
Citizen or not, he was genocidal. Seeing him go free seems akin to just letting Hitler go free, had he been captured after the war. –  Unsigned Dec 14 '12 at 20:13
    
Firstly, Magneto is not Hitler. He's more similar to Malcolm X. Perhaps its different in some of the comics, but in the films he's been more of an anti-hero than a villain. The very premise of his leadership was that he was a mutant. With that gone, not only is he merely a broken old man, but he's part of the group of people that according to his ideology, were unimportant and not life that should be respected. Having been 'cured', he has no capability of going back and leading his crusade anymore, he'd be ostracized just as he ostracized Mystique. –  Padenton Dec 14 '12 at 22:31
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