Personally it all comes down to how the GM times things out. If the PCs want to do some off book or down time that makes sense. BBEG needs time to set things up and adjust. In contrast one of the longest games I've been in, which is still going and at around 4 years out of game has been about 4 months in game and the time frame only slowed down somewhat recently. It is just the nature of the adventurer's life to push push push and then go, huh, well that wasn't that long. As the Gm if you want, gate it the other way and make it so that they have the rest. All depends on your group personally.
While RoW is a railroad you can definitely limit the fact that it is one with some massaging and emphasizing certain characters. Really the only AP I've heard of that isn't a major railroad was Kingmaker and that is more because it was specifically designed as a sandbox. The part I've really liked about RoW is that it has the right feel of drive for the players who want to just be part of the flow and enough fey and moral choices for those who want to spread their wings some. With the ultimate outcome of RoW being that depending on what the party chooses it could have some massive overall impacts.
One thing I've been dabbling with as I'm still pretty new on the whole AP thing is to make sure to drop in and tie the different APs together. With RoW first the end choice of the party will have an impact on future parties. If you have run something like Skull and Shackles before drop in some bar talk about the happenings.
Inner Sea Gods is probably the best religion book I've ever seen put out and would highly recommend. I'm also a big dragon guy and Dragons Unleashed giving some insight on 14 different major dragons is a great piece of GM source material at a range of levels.
It really depends on where you are within the AP and where the characters are physically. If it is near civilization then fairly easy to do manacle them up and send them to trial.
Ultimately it is an amazing roleplaying potential point to see how the players react.
As for killing the prisoner to be an evil act, if they are judged and guilty then the LG has to options. Try to redeem them or execute them according to the law and go all Edard Stark and do it themselves. I'm so looking forward to these scenarios.
From a Pally perspective, really cold blood killings are only going to twitch the alignment meter on the fully helpless non-guilty. Kill the rampaging orcs but you find nearby a group of orc children, and you go all Anakin on them. Yeah, that's a slip.
I got fairly lucky here as well in that my PCs either had traits, racial or spells to get them past the just overall base cold effects. If anything my biggest thing would be to steer your players toward the players guide and open up traits. The cold should be something that is more of just a slight resource drain on the party than anything.
So I'm getting ready to run the AP and looking especially some of the early parts of the cities and kingdom. How has everyone handled the town guard and their interactions with the part from a numbers standpoint? Did you run them as like a smaller discounted militia?
There are the buildings like barracks and garrisons and the like that talk about being able to train and house these kinds of units but nothing else. Ideas?