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Political theorist: Many people believe that the punishment of those

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Political theorist: Many people believe that the punishment of those  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2019, 12:33
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Political theorist: Many people believe that the punishment of those who commit even the most heinous crimes should be mitigated to some extent if the crime was motivated by a sincere desire to achieve some larger good. Granted, some criminals with admirable motives deserve mitigated punishments. Nonetheless, judges should never mitigate punishment on the basis of motives, since motives are essentially a matter of conjecture and even vicious motives can easily be presented as altruistic.

Which one of the following principles, if valid, most helps to justify the political theorist’s reasoning?

(A) Laws that prohibit or permit actions solely on the basis of psychological states should not be part of a legal system.
(B) It is better to err on the side of overly severe punishment than to err on the side of overly lenient punishment.
(C) The legal permissibility of actions should depend on the perceivable consequences of those actions.
(D) No law that cannot be enforced should be enacted.
(E) A legal system that, if adopted, would have disastrous consequences ought not be adopted.

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Re: Political theorist: Many people believe that the punishment of those  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2019, 20:05
C if the punishment is made mitigate then punishment shod b acceptable in order to make less severe so conjecture will b based upon perceivable consequences those action

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Re: Political theorist: Many people believe that the punishment of those  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2019, 20:25
Imo C

Prethink: If the consequences of crime committed are too bad and outweigh the good motives for that crime


(A) Laws that prohibit or permit actions solely on the basis of psychological states should not be part of a legal system.-+-irrelevant
(B) It is better to err on the side of overly severe punishment than to err on the side of overly lenient punishment.--irrelevant
(C) The legal permissibility of actions should depend on the perceivable consequences of those actions.-correct
(D) No law that cannot be enforced should be enacted.---coorect
(E) A legal system that, if adopted, would have disastrous consequences ought not be adopted--correct

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Re: Political theorist: Many people believe that the punishment of those  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2019, 20:56
Political theorist: Many people believe that the punishment of those who commit even the most heinous crimes should be mitigated to some extent if the crime was motivated by a sincere desire to achieve some larger good. Granted, some criminals with admirable motives deserve mitigated punishments. Nonetheless, judges should never mitigate punishment on the basis of motives, since motives are essentially a matter of conjecture (opinion) and even vicious motives can easily be presented as altruistic (selfless).

So, the political theorist argues that people believe that punishment of heinous crimes must be mitigated if the crime was motivated by sincere desire for greater good. also suggests that SOME criminals should get mitigated punishments based on the motives, but all should not because motives are matter of opinion. So its better to be stringent than to be lenient.


Which one of the following principles, if valid, most helps to justify the political theorist’s reasoning?

(A) Laws that prohibit or permit actions solely on the basis of psychological states should not be part of a legal system. (Out of scope)
(B) It is better to err on the side of overly severe punishment than to err on the side of overly lenient punishment. (Correct: Similar to our pre-thinking)
(C) The legal permissibility of actions should depend on the perceivable consequences of those actions. (Argument is not talking about permissibility of actions, its talking about quantum of punishments with regards to motives)
(D) No law that cannot be enforced should be enacted. (Argument is not talking about enforcing any laws)
(E) A legal system that, if adopted, would have disastrous consequences ought not be adopted. (Out of scope-no discussion about legal system)
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Re: Political theorist: Many people believe that the punishment of those  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jan 2019, 20:36
Logical connection that I made:

Political theorist says:
- People committing terrible crimes for a good cause deserve less severe punishment.
- Judges should not reduce punishment on basis of the reason for committing the crime
- Sometimes, reasons can be twisted in the criminal's favor.

To strengthen conclusion, we need a statement that agrees with/says: since reasons/motives can be misrepresented, it is better to not lessen the punishment.

Only (B) fits the bill.

(D) and (E) talk about enforcing or adopting a law/law system, which is not the primary concern here. Chuck these.

(A) talks about crimes based on state of mind, while argument talks about crimes based on good cause/motive. Eliminate.

(C) talks about permitting actions, argument talks about passing judgement on the criminal who committed the actions. Eliminate.
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Re: Political theorist: Many people believe that the punishment of those &nbs [#permalink] 21 Jan 2019, 20:36
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