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#2 - Denise: Crime will be reduced only when punishment

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Complete Question Explanation

Point of Agreement. The correct answer choice is (A)

Denise argues that reducing crime requires a certain and severe punishment to deter would-be
criminals from committing a crime. Reshmi disagrees, noting that educational opportunities would
offer a better incentive to choose a different path.

The correct answer will contain a factual statement that passes the Agree/Agree Test, i.e. it must
produce responses where both speakers would say, “Yes, I agree with this statement.” Answer choice
(A) passes this test. According to Denise, people can “decide against [committing crimes],” whereas
Reshmi notes that they can “choose a different path.” While the two speakers disagree over how to
reduce crime, they do share the common presumption that people are capable of choosing whether or
not to commit crimes.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice. See explanation above.

Answer choice (B): There is no evidence that either speaker would agree with this statement, which
contains an exaggeration.

Answer choice (C): While it is quite possible that both speakers would endorse the importance
of having fair and consistent responses to criminal behavior, this is outside the scope of either
argument.

Answer choice (D): Although Reshmi would agree with the proposition that crimes are committed in
response to economic need, there is no evidence that Denise would also agree. Her argument focuses
on how to deter criminal behavior, not on why such behavior occurs in the first place.

Answer choice (E): This is the Opposite answer. It is clear that Denise would agree with the need for
assured punishments (“crime will be reduced only when punishment is certain”). However, Denise
argues that crime would be most effectively reduced not by deterring criminals from committing
crimes, but by providing them with an incentive to choose a different path. Answer choice (E) states
a point of disagreement, not a point of agreement.