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Author:  samsung1234 [ 04 Jul 2021, 02:44 ]
Post subject:  Determining the most effective way to deter deliberate crimes, such as

Determining the most effective way to deter
deliberate crimes, such as fraud, as opposed to impulsive
crimes, such as crimes of passion, is a problem currently
being debated in the legal community. On one side of
(5) the debate are those scholars who believe that
deliberate crimes are a product of the influence of
societal norms and institutions on individuals. These
scholars suggest that changing people’s beliefs about
crime, increasing the access of the most economically
(10) alienated individuals to economic institutions, and
rehabilitating those convicted of this type of crime will
reduce the crime rate. On the other side are those legal
scholars who believe that the decision to commit a
deliberate crime is primarily the result of individual
(15) choice. They suggest that increasing the fines and
penalties associated with criminal activity, along with
efficacious law enforcement, is the best deterrence
method. However, some recent legal scholarship has
changed the nature of this debate by introducing an
(20) economic principle that shows that these two
positions, far from being antithetical, are surprisingly
complementary.

The economic principle that reconciles the two
positions is that of utility maximization, which holds
(25) that, given a choice of actions, rational individuals will
choose the action that maximizes their anticipated
overall satisfaction, or expected utility. The expected
utility of an action is ascertained by determining the
utilities of the possible outcomes of that action,
(30) weighing them according to the likelihood of each
outcome’s coming to pass, and then adding up those
weighted utilities. Using this economic framework, an
individual’s decision to commit a crime can be analyzed
as a rational economic choice.

(35) According to the utility maximization principle a
person who responds rationally to economic incentives
or disincentives will commit a crime if the expected
utility from doing so, given the chance of getting caught,
exceeds the expected utility from activity that is
(40) lawful. Within this framework the two crime-deterrence
methods have the same overall effect. For instance, the
recommendations on one side of the crime deterrence
debate to increase penalties for crimes and strengthen
law enforcement result in an increased likelihood of
(45) detection and punishment and impose an increased
cost to the individual if detected and punished. This
lowers the expected utility from criminal activity,
thereby making a person less likely to choose to
commit a deliberate crime. The recommendations on
(50) the other side of the debate, such as increasing the
economic opportunities of individuals most alienated
from economic institutions, also affect the utility
equation. All else being equal, enacting these types
of policies will effectively increase the expected
(55) utility from lawful activity. This economic analysis
demonstrates that the two positions are not
fundamentally in conflict, and that the optimal
approach to crime deterrence would include elements
of both deterrence strategies.


1. Which one of the following most accurately states the main point of the passage?

(A) The principle of utility maximization providesan economic framework that allows legal scholars to analyze an individual’s decision tocommit a crime as a rational economic choicethat maximizes that individual’s expected utility.
(B) Legal scholars have found that deliberate criminal acts are motivated by neither external influences nor individual choices alone but that instead both of these factors are important in the decision to commit a crime.
(C) The utility maximization principle can be used to quantify the effects both of methods of deterrence that revolve around individual factors and of those that emphasize the impact of societal norms on the decision to commit a deliberate crime.
(D) Introduction of the utility maximization principle into the current crime deterrence debate indicates that both sides in the debate offer useful recommendations that can work together in deterring deliberate crime.
(E) The utility maximization principle demonstrates that deliberate criminal acts are the result of the rational economic choices of individuals and are not influenced by societal norms or the policies and practices of societal institutions.



2. The author mentions “crimes of passion” primarily in order to

(A) give an example of a kind of deliberate crime
(B) provide a contrast that helps to define a deliberate crime
(C) demonstrate that not all crimes can be deterred
(D) help illustrate one side of the current debate in the legal community
(E) mention a crime that is a product of the influence of societal norms



3. The explanation of the utility maximization principle in the passage suggests that which one of the following would be least appropriately described as a rational response to economic incentives and disincentives?

(A) In order to reduce his taxes, a waiter conceals a large part of his tip income from the government because he believes that it is very unlikely that this will be detected and he will be penalized.
(B) A motorist avoids speeding on a certain stretch of road because she knows that it is heavily patrolled and that a speeding ticket will lead to loss of her driver’s license.
(C) An industrialist continues to illegally discharge an untreated pollutant into a river because the cost of treatment far exceeds the fine for illegally discharging the pollutant.
(D) A government official in an impoverished country risks prosecution for soliciting bribes because rampant inflation has rendered her government salary inadequate to support her and her family.
(E) A worker physically assaults his former supervisor in a crowded workplace because he has been dismissed from his job and he believes that the dismissal was unwarranted and unfair.



4. Based on the passage, which one of the following scenarios is most similar to some legal scholars’ use of the utility maximization principle regarding the crime deterrence debate?

(A) an astronomer’s use of a paradox employed by certain ancient cosmologists as a metaphor to help describe a phenomenon recently observed with the aid of new technologies
(B) a drawing instructor’s use of a law of optics from physics to demonstrate that two lines that appear to diverge actually run parallel to each other
(C) a botanist’s use of a quotation from a legendary Olympic athlete to make a point about the competitive nature of plants in a forest
(D) a judge’s use of evidence from anthropology to support a decision in a controversial legal case
(E) a mediator’s use of a short quotation from a well-known novel in an attempt to set a tone of collegiality and good conduct at the start of a bargaining session



5. Which one of the following most accurately describes the organization of the passage?

(A) Two sides of a debate are described and a general principle is used to resolve the conflict between them.
(B) Two sides of a debate are described and an economic principle is applied to decide between them.
(C) Two beliefs are described and a principle is introduced to discredit them.
(D) A general principle is described and instantiated by two different ways of solving a problem.
(E) A general principle is described and used to highlight the differences between two sides in a debate.



6. The passage suggests that the author would be likely to agree with each of the following statements EXCEPT:

(A) The rate at which criminals return to criminal activity is likely to fall if laws requiring stronger punishments for repeat offenders are adopted.
(B) The rate at which criminals return to criminal activity is likely to increase if efforts to rehabilitate them are ended.
(C) The rate of deliberate crimes is likely to decrease if the expected utility of lawful activities decreases.
(D) The rate of deliberate crimes is likely to increase if the access of individuals to economic institutions decreases.
(E) The rate of deliberate crimes will tend to vary inversely with the level of law enforcement.



  • Source: LSAT Official PrepTest 64
  • Difficulty Level: 600

RC Butler 2021 - Practice Two RC Questions Everyday.
Passage # 263 Date: 05-Jul-2021
This question is a part of RC Butler 2021. Click here for Details

Author:  Sajjad1994 [ 05 Jul 2021, 03:17 ]
Post subject:  Re: Determining the most effective way to deter deliberate crimes, such as

+1 Kudos to posts containing answer explanation of all questions

Author:  kntombat [ 05 Jul 2021, 05:12 ]
Post subject:  Re: Determining the most effective way to deter deliberate crimes, such as

As and when possible can someone share the OE of questions 2, 3, and 4 ??

Author:  Nitisha03 [ 05 Jul 2021, 20:27 ]
Post subject:  Re: Determining the most effective way to deter deliberate crimes, such as

kntombat wrote:
As and when possible can someone share the OE of questions 2, 3, and 4 ??


2. The author mentions “crimes of passion” primarily in order to

(A) give an example of a kind of deliberate crime - Not an example rather a type of crime
(B) provide a contrast that helps to define a deliberate crime
(C) demonstrate that not all crimes can be deterred - Whether crime of passion can be deterred is not discussed in the passage
(D) help illustrate one side of the current debate in the legal community - Both side of debate are related to deliberate crime.
(E) mention a crime that is a product of the influence of societal norms - Not mentioned

3. The explanation of the utility maximization principle in the passage suggests that which one of the following would be least appropriately described as a rational response to economic incentives and disincentives?

(A) In order to reduce his taxes, a waiter conceals a large part of his tip income from the government because he believes that it is very unlikely that this will be detected and he will be penalized. - Deliberate crime - Economic utility of crime more than the penalty
(B) A motorist avoids speeding on a certain stretch of road because she knows that it is heavily patrolled and that a speeding ticket will lead to loss of her driver’s license. - Deliberate effort - Economic utility of speeding less than the loss of driver's license
(C) An industrialist continues to illegally discharge an untreated pollutant into a river because the cost of treatment far exceeds the fine for illegally discharging the pollutant. - Deliberate crime - Economic utility of crime more than the penalty
(D) A government official in an impoverished country risks prosecution for soliciting bribes because rampant inflation has rendered her government salary inadequate to support her and her family.- Deliberate crime - Economic utility of crime more than the penalty
(E) A worker physically assaults his former supervisor in a crowded workplace because he has been dismissed from his job and he believes that the dismissal was unwarranted and unfair. - No economic utility to the worker as he was already dismissed. Though this was a deliberate crime committed by the worker, it was not due to the economic utility but due to rage.


4. Based on the passage, which one of the following scenarios is most similar to some legal scholars’ use of the utility maximization principle regarding the crime deterrence debate?

(A) an astronomer’s use of a paradox employed by certain ancient cosmologists as a metaphor to help describe a phenomenon recently observed with the aid of new technologies
(B) a drawing instructor’s use of a law of optics from physics to demonstrate that two lines that appear to diverge actually run parallel to each other
(C) a botanist’s use of a quotation from a legendary Olympic athlete to make a point about the competitive nature of plants in a forest
(D) a judge’s use of evidence from anthropology to support a decision in a controversial legal case
(E) a mediator’s use of a short quotation from a well-known novel in an attempt to set a tone of collegiality and good conduct at the start of a bargaining session

Some legal scholars who support the use of utility maximization principle suggest that the two sides of the debate are not so different and are based on the principle of economic utility maximization i.e eventhough they appear to diverge into different direction, they ultimately leads to the same principle.
"The economic principle that reconciles the two positions is that of utility maximization, which holds (25) that, given a choice of actions, rational individuals will choose the action that maximizes their anticipated overall satisfaction, or expected utility."


Hope this helps.

Author:  anshum511 [ 05 Jul 2021, 20:57 ]
Post subject:  Re: Determining the most effective way to deter deliberate crimes, such as

Can anyone explain why option A for 1st question is wrong? A strong and logical explanation is preferred.

Author:  Sajjad1994 [ 06 Jul 2021, 00:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: Determining the most effective way to deter deliberate crimes, such as

anshum511 wrote:
Can anyone explain why option A for 1st question is wrong? A strong and logical explanation is preferred.


For main point questions, ask yourself: why did they tell me that? LSAT passages always have a point. Here, the point is that the two plans to deal with crime are really just opposite sides of the same coin.

What A said is true, according to the passage, but it isn’t the main point. This answer ignores the fact that utility maximization theory will let us settle the debate.

Author:  kntombat [ 06 Jul 2021, 02:31 ]
Post subject:  Re: Determining the most effective way to deter deliberate crimes, such as

nehasheela2 wrote:
kntombat wrote:
As and when possible can someone share the OE of questions 2, 3, and 4 ??


2. The author mentions “crimes of passion” primarily in order to

(A) give an example of a kind of deliberate crime - Not an example rather a type of crime
(B) provide a contrast that helps to define a deliberate crime
(C) demonstrate that not all crimes can be deterred - Whether crime of passion can be deterred is not discussed in the passage
(D) help illustrate one side of the current debate in the legal community - Both side of debate are related to deliberate crime.
(E) mention a crime that is a product of the influence of societal norms - Not mentioned

3. The explanation of the utility maximization principle in the passage suggests that which one of the following would be least appropriately described as a rational response to economic incentives and disincentives?

(A) In order to reduce his taxes, a waiter conceals a large part of his tip income from the government because he believes that it is very unlikely that this will be detected and he will be penalized. - Deliberate crime - Economic utility of crime more than the penalty
(B) A motorist avoids speeding on a certain stretch of road because she knows that it is heavily patrolled and that a speeding ticket will lead to loss of her driver’s license. - Deliberate effort - Economic utility of speeding less than the loss of driver's license
(C) An industrialist continues to illegally discharge an untreated pollutant into a river because the cost of treatment far exceeds the fine for illegally discharging the pollutant. - Deliberate crime - Economic utility of crime more than the penalty
(D) A government official in an impoverished country risks prosecution for soliciting bribes because rampant inflation has rendered her government salary inadequate to support her and her family.- Deliberate crime - Economic utility of crime more than the penalty
(E) A worker physically assaults his former supervisor in a crowded workplace because he has been dismissed from his job and he believes that the dismissal was unwarranted and unfair. - No economic utility to the worker as he was already dismissed. Though this was a deliberate crime committed by the worker, it was not due to the economic utility but due to rage.


4. Based on the passage, which one of the following scenarios is most similar to some legal scholars’ use of the utility maximization principle regarding the crime deterrence debate?

(A) an astronomer’s use of a paradox employed by certain ancient cosmologists as a metaphor to help describe a phenomenon recently observed with the aid of new technologies
(B) a drawing instructor’s use of a law of optics from physics to demonstrate that two lines that appear to diverge actually run parallel to each other
(C) a botanist’s use of a quotation from a legendary Olympic athlete to make a point about the competitive nature of plants in a forest
(D) a judge’s use of evidence from anthropology to support a decision in a controversial legal case
(E) a mediator’s use of a short quotation from a well-known novel in an attempt to set a tone of collegiality and good conduct at the start of a bargaining session

Some legal scholars who support the use of utility maximization principle suggest that the two sides of the debate are not so different and are based on the principle of economic utility maximization i.e eventhough they appear to diverge into different direction, they ultimately leads to the same principle.
"The economic principle that reconciles the two positions is that of utility maximization, which holds (25) that, given a choice of actions, rational individuals will choose the action that maximizes their anticipated overall satisfaction, or expected utility."


Hope this helps.


nehasheela2, Thank you for answering my question and clearing some of my doubts.
If you would be kind enough to explain the OE of question 2 then that would be helpful.

Author:  kantapong [ 06 Jul 2021, 20:14 ]
Post subject:  Re: Determining the most effective way to deter deliberate crimes, such as

Passage Summary:
P1: How to deter deliberate crimes, e.g. fraud
Approach 1: reason: Societal norms & institutions -> sol: rehab
Approach 2: reason: individual choice -> sol: increase fine
They seem opposite, but actually complementary
P2: Decision to commit crime is rational
P3: Two methods have same overall effects -> complementary

Q1 main point -> show that these two approaches seem opposite, but complementary
A: true, but utility maximization is not the main focus
B: opposite of what is stated in passage
C: quantify the effect (e.g. approach 1 reduces crime by 5% and approach 2 reduces crime by 10%) but we do not see their quantification of effects
D: both sides offer useful recommendation that can work together ... (YES - KEEP)
E: ... not influenced by societal norms ... : opposite of what is stated in passage
Ans: D

Q2 crime of passion -> crime that is not deliberate, but impulsive
A: opposite of what is stated
B: provide contrast (YES - KEEP)
C: the passage does not mention whether crime of passion can be deterred; false
D: not the side of debate
E: the passage does not state the reason of crime of passion
Ans: B

Q3: Economic incentives and disincentives (fine = disincentives & rehab = incentives)
A: disincentives low, so commit (yes)
B: disincentives high, so avoid (yes)
C: incentives low, disincentives low, so commit (yes)
D: incentives to support family, so commit (yes)
E: commit because feel unwarranted and unfair (not related)
Ans: E

Q4 Legal scholars use economic incentives in crime deterrence debate (to show that they are complementary)
A: use of paradox + metaphor (utility max is framework not metaphor, nor paradox)
B: use physics to show they actually run parallel (seems no problems - KEEP)
C: use of quotation (utility max is not quotation)
D: use of evidence ... (utility max is not evidence)
E: use of short quotation to set a tone (the purpose is not to set a tone)
Ans: B

Q5: organization
A: two sides of debate + general principle to resolve conflict (looks good - KEEP)
B: two sides of debate + economic principle to decide between them (trap - the author does not select only one of the two)
C: two beliefs + principle to discredit (no - not discredit any of them)
D: general principle + two different ways to solve problem (looks good - KEEP)
E: general principle + highlight differences (opposite of what is stated)
Between A and D, A is better because the author presents the debate first and then economic principle to resolve conflict, while in D, it means the author presents economic principle first and then two sides of debate as solution. (A best represents the order presented)

Q6: Agree except (Note the author agrees with both approaches)
A: stronger law -> criminal rate decrease (yes: approach #2)
B: rehab end -> criminal rate increases (yes: approach #1)
C: lawful activities not worth doing -> crime rate decreases (KEEP)
D: access to institution decreases -> crime increases (yes: approach #1)
E: law enforcement increases/decreases, then crime rate will decrease/increase (yes: approach #2)
Ans: C

Author:  Nitisha03 [ 07 Jul 2021, 08:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: Determining the most effective way to deter deliberate crimes, such as

If you would be kind enough to explain the OE of question 2 then that would be helpful.[/quote]

We need to go back to the first sentence of the passage 'Determining the most effective way to deter deliberate crimes, such as fraud, as opposed to impulsive crimes, such as crimes of passion, is a problem currently being debated in the legal community.

Author explained deliberate crime by giving the example of impulsive crime i.e crime of passion.

Author:  Sandrine [ 28 Aug 2021, 12:28 ]
Post subject:  Re: Determining the most effective way to deter deliberate crimes, such as

Whats the difficulty level of this passage?

Author:  Sajjad1994 [ 29 Aug 2021, 09:53 ]
Post subject:  Re: Determining the most effective way to deter deliberate crimes, such as

Sandrine wrote:
Whats the difficulty level of this passage?


In my opinion, the following should be the difficulty level of each question.

Question #1: 600
Question #2: 600
Question #3: 600
Question #4: 650-700
Question #5: 600
Question #6: 600

Overall: 600

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Post subject:  Re: Determining the most effective way to deter deliberate crimes, such as

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