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# To hold criminals responsible for their crimes involves a

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Intern
Joined: 01 Jul 2004
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To hold criminals responsible for their crimes involves a [#permalink]

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08 Sep 2004, 07:43
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To hold criminals responsible for their crimes
involves a failure to recognize that criminal actions,
like all actions, are ultimately products of the
environment that forged the agentâ€™s character. It is
not criminals but people in the law-abiding majority
who by their actions do most to create and maintain
this environment. Therefore, it is law-abiding people
whose actions, and nothing else, make them alone
truly responsible for crime.
The reasoning in the argument is most vulnerable to
criticism on the grounds that
(A) it exploits an ambiguity in the term
â€œenvironmentâ€

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Manager
Joined: 27 Aug 2004
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Location: US

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08 Sep 2004, 08:22
I feel the answer is E.

The conclusion of the argument is
Quote:
Therefore, it is law-abiding people whose actions, and nothing else, make them alone truly responsible for crime.

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Manager
Joined: 05 Sep 2004
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08 Sep 2004, 12:25
crackgmat3 wrote:
I feel the answer is E.

The conclusion of the argument is
Quote:
Therefore, it is law-abiding people whose actions, and nothing else, make them alone truly responsible for crime.

Again, let's strip the argument < remaining sentence edited by praet; please avoid such language. >

(i) Criminal actions = products of environment
(ii) Law-abiding actions create/maintain environment
(iii) Thus, law-abiding actions are responsible for criminal actions.

(A) is out because we don't have any real confusion over how the author is defining the word environment.

(B) is interesting. The argument does differentiate b/w law-abiding and criminal actions. However, when it says that the law-abiding actions create/maintain the environment, it seems to put slight burden on the to-be-criminals to make a choice b/w socially acceptable and unacceptable crimes. Nevertheless, this slight burden is not relied upon significantly by the argument to make its point.

(C) comes the closest.

The argument is attempting to define its own judicial system by tracing the emotional/demographic/cultural/economic roots of the criminal's intent to something deeper. Based on the argument, if Bob's uncle assaulted Bob sexually when he was an 11-year-old and then Bob turns around and rapes Daria, then it's Bob's uncle who is responsible for the crime and not Bob.

Thus, the argument is denying (= refusing to accept) that, in reality and in our society, we have a defined judicial process. This defined process holds someone responsible for a crime that he/she has committed regardless of the motivation. Yes, you can still have a contributory crime from someone else, but that doesn't exempt the original offender from the crime he/she has committed.

(D) is wrong because we're not relying on statistics here.

(E) refers to a contradicting implicit principle, which is what? Based on my bare-bones structure above, I don't necessarily see a contradictory principle or conclusion.

I guess the best answer would have been something to the effect: "Even though law-abiding actions create an environment that ultimately gives birth to crimes, the decision to commit a crime and not abide by the law is invariably the criminal's, who may have law-abiding alternatives available." (B) attempts to say something along these lines, but it doesn't quite come out and say it.

Last edited by intr3pid on 08 Sep 2004, 14:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Director
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08 Sep 2004, 13:12
C for me. Identifies that Criminal is still responsible for the crime he has committed irrespective of the motivation or influence 'by the environment'.

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08 Sep 2004, 13:12
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# To hold criminals responsible for their crimes involves a

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