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# Psychologists have asserted in the past that juries in murder cases

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Intern
Joined: 20 Apr 2015
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Location: India
GMAT 1: 600 Q44 V29
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Psychologists have asserted in the past that juries in murder cases  [#permalink]

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11 Jan 2017, 00:37
2
6
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Difficulty:

55% (hard)

Question Stats:

62% (02:13) correct 38% (02:16) wrong based on 302 sessions

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Psychologists have asserted in the past that juries in murder cases are less likely to convict a suspect if the jury members know that there is a possibility that the suspect will be sentenced to death. However, this is not shown to be true in statistics. In State X, which has the death penalty, the conviction rate in murder cases is slightly over eighty percent. In State Y, which does not have the death penalty, the conviction rate in murder cases is seventy percent.

The argument above is flawed in that it ignores the possibility that

A. State Y has a larger number of murder cases than does State X.

B. State X has a larger number of murder cases than does State Y.

C. over seventy percent of the people who live in State Y oppose the death penalty.

D. the governor of State X is a former state prosecutor, is an outspoken proponent of the death penalty, and has been reelected two times by sweeping majorities.

E. an independent look at the evidence in murder cases in State X shows that more than ninety percent of murder suspects were guilty; a similar examination of murder cases in State Y shows that seventy percent of murder suspects were guilty.

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Marshall & McDonough Moderator
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Re: Psychologists have asserted in the past that juries in murder cases  [#permalink]

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11 Jan 2017, 04:06
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Juries are less likely to convict a suspect if there is a possibility that the suspect will be sentenced to death.

But we see a surprising fact:
State X has death penalty laws --> Greater than 80% conviction rate
State Y has no death penalty laws --> 70% conviction rate.

The argument is flawed because it ignores

A. State Y has a larger number of murder cases than does State X. - Incorrect. Percentages are converted to numbers. Can be true or cannot be true.

B. State X has a larger number of murder cases than does State Y. - Incorrect. Same error as in A.

C. over seventy percent of the people who live in State Y oppose the death penalty. - Incorrect. Out of Scope.

D. the governor of State X is a former state prosecutor, is an outspoken proponent of the death penalty, and has been reelected two times by sweeping majorities. - Incorrect. Out of scope.

E. an independent look at the evidence in murder cases in State X shows that more than ninety percent of murder suspects were guilty; a similar examination of murder cases in State Y shows that seventy percent of murder suspects were guilty. - Correct. If this was the case then the facts/statistics mentioned are not surprising. Over 90% of the suspects must be convicted to death sentence, but due to the juries' lenience less than 90% of the suspects were convicted in State X.

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Re: Psychologists have asserted in the past that juries in murder cases  [#permalink]

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16 Jan 2018, 11:21
2
Psychologists have asserted in the past that juries in murder cases are less likely to convict a suspect if the jury members know that there is a possibility that the suspect will be sentenced to death. However, this is not shown to be true in statistics. In State X, which has the death penalty, the conviction rate in murder cases is slightly over eighty percent. In State Y, which does not have the death penalty, the conviction rate in murder cases is seventy percent.

The argument above is flawed in that it ignores the possibility that

A. State Y has a larger number of murder cases than does State X. -How much larger than that of X? E is better than A.
B. State X has a larger number of murder cases than does State Y. -It would strengthen the argument.
C. over seventy percent of the people who live in State Y oppose the death penalty. -Out of scope
D. the governor of State X is a former state prosecutor, is an outspoken proponent of the death penalty, and has been reelected two times by sweeping majorities. -out of scope
E. an independent look at the evidence in murder cases in State X shows that more than ninety percent of murder suspects were guilty; a similar examination of murder cases in State Y shows that seventy percent of murder suspects were guilty. -Correct. Suppose both X and Y had 100 people presented before the jury. Then in X out of 95 only 80 were convicted, whereas in Y 70 out of 70 were convicted. This is line with the very first statement of the passage that if the jury knew about death sentence then it didn't convict the criminal. So jury saved people in X but didn't in Y. This shows that the conclusion "this is not shown to be true in statistics" is wrong.
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Re: Psychologists have asserted in the past that juries in murder cases   [#permalink] 16 Jan 2018, 11:21
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