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# In some jurisdictions, lawmakers have instituted sentencing guidelines

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Joined: 22 Jun 2017
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In some jurisdictions, lawmakers have instituted sentencing guidelines  [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2019, 16:58
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Difficulty:

55% (hard)

Question Stats:

61% (01:42) correct 39% (02:11) wrong based on 156 sessions

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In some jurisdictions, lawmakers have instituted sentencing guidelines that mandate a penalty for theft that is identical to the one they have mandated for bribery. Hence, lawmakers in those jurisdictions evidently consider the harm resulting from theft to be equal to the harm resulting from bribery.

Which one of the following, if true, would most strengthen the argument?
(A) In general, lawmakers mandate penalties for crimes that are proportional to the harm they believe to result from those crimes.
(B) In most cases, lawmakers assess the level of harm resulting from an act in determining whether to make that act illegal.
(C) Often, in response to the unusually great harm resulting from a particular instance of a crime, lawmakers will mandate an increased penalty for that crime.
(D) In most cases, a victim of theft is harmed no more than a victim of bribery is harmed.
(E) If lawmakers mandate penalties for crimes that are proportional to the harm resulting from those crimes, crime in those lawmakers’ jurisdictions will be effectively deterred.

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Re: In some jurisdictions, lawmakers have instituted sentencing guidelines  [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2019, 12:27
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patto wrote:
In some jurisdictions, lawmakers have instituted sentencing guidelines that mandate a penalty for theft that is identical to the one they have mandated for bribery. Hence, lawmakers in those jurisdictions evidently consider the harm resulting from theft to be equal to the harm resulting from bribery.

Premise: In some jurisdictions, lawmakers have instituted sentencing guidelines that mandate a penalty for theft that is identical to the one they have mandated for bribery

Conclusion: lawmakers in those jurisdictions evidently consider the harm resulting from theft to be equal to the harm resulting from bribery.

Strengthen

Which one of the following, if true, would most strengthen the argument?

(A) In general, lawmakers mandate penalties for crimes that are proportional to the harm they believe to result from those crimes.

Clearly complements the conclusion. Hold.

(B) In most cases, lawmakers assess the level of harm resulting from an act in determining whether to make that act illegal.

OOS. Theft and Bribery are both illegal. We are not concerned with how certain actions are deemed illegal.

(C) Often, in response to the unusually great harm resulting from a particular instance of a crime, lawmakers will mandate an increased penalty for that crime.

Tricky. But this one is talking about particular instances of a crime. We are concerned with the general penalty guidelines assigned to crimes.

(D) In most cases, a victim of theft is harmed no more than a victim of bribery is harmed.

Tricky. But we are concerned with how lawmakers consider the harm of certain crimes. This does not refer to lawmakers.

(E) If lawmakers mandate penalties for crimes that are proportional to the harm resulting from those crimes, crime in those lawmakers’ jurisdictions will be effectively deterred.

OOS. We are not concerned with deterring crimes. We just want to strengthen the conclusion, which is that lawmakers consider the harm resulting from theft to be equal to the harm resulting from bribery.
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Re: In some jurisdictions, lawmakers have instituted sentencing guidelines  [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2019, 01:44
Quote:
In some jurisdictions, lawmakers have instituted sentencing guidelines that mandate a penalty for theft that is identical to the one they have mandated for bribery. Hence, lawmakers in those jurisdictions evidently consider the harm resulting from theft to be equal to the harm resulting from bribery.

Conclusion: Lawmakers consider - harm resulting from theft = harm resulting from bribery. Why?
Because penalty for bribery is same as penalty for theft.
We should find an option that implies lawmakers believe both harms are similar.

Which one of the following, if true, would most strengthen the argument?

Quote:
(A) In general, lawmakers mandate penalties for crimes that are proportional to the harm they believe to result from those crimes.

This gives a general statement of how lawmakers make laws for crimes. Because lawmakers mandate penalties for crimes proportional to the harm, and since the penalties for theft and bribery are same, therefore, lawmakers believe harm caused by both the crimes is also same.
Note the difference between (A) and (D). Both are general statements. But (A) is a general statement in the context of lawmaker and (D) is just a general statement without context.

Quote:
(B) In most cases, lawmakers assess the level of harm resulting from an act in determining whether to make that act illegal.

The goal is to find out lawmakers belief regarding harm caused by bribey and theft not whether they want to make that act illegal based on the level of harm of the act.

Quote:
(C) Often, in response to the unusually great harm resulting from a particular instance of a crime, lawmakers will mandate an increased penalty for that crime.

Once again, this option is not addressing the point of concern. Way out of scope.

Quote:
(D) In most cases, a victim of theft is harmed no more than a victim of bribery is harmed.

Very tempting. But the reason this option is not right because, this is a general statement. Not judge's belief.

Quote:
(E) If lawmakers mandate penalties for crimes that are proportional to the harm resulting from those crimes, crime in those lawmakers’ jurisdictions will be effectively deterred

Deterrence of crime is out of scope. This option does not address the similarity of bribery and theft in regard to the harm they cause.
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Re: In some jurisdictions, lawmakers have instituted sentencing guidelines   [#permalink] 08 Apr 2019, 01:44
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