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#22 - Political theorist: Many people believe that the

GLMDYP
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Hi!
For this one, I am confused why (C) is not the right answer. The conclusion is that "judges should never mitigate punishments on the basis of motives", while (C) states that "legal impressibility of actions should depend on the perceivable consequences of those actions". These two fits very well, am I right? And I think (B) is a little bit "dramatic" to be an LSAT answer, am I right?
Thanks!
Lucas Moreau
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Hello, GLMDYP,

The problem with C is that it talks about the perceivable consequences of behavior. The stimulus is not largely about the consequences that lawbreakers perceive to flow from their actions, it's about the motives that those lawbreakers have.

It's also not so much about legal permissibility - that is, whether something should be legal or illegal - as it is about how severely or leniently certain actions already deemed impermissible (illegal) should be punished.

B is closer to the conclusion of the argument: that judges should punish more severely rather than more leniently - they should not mitigate based on motive. The rationale seems to be that people would have an incentive to misrepresent their vicious motives as altruistic to get more lenient punishment, if that was possible, and so it should not be possible. Hence B is more in line with the tone of the argument.

Hope that helps,
Lucas Moreau
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lilmissunshine
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Could you explain why (A) is incorrect? I eliminated (B) at first because I couldn't see the link between (B) and the stimulus.

Many thanks!
Adam Tyson
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The argument in the stimulus could be paraphrased as something like "judges shouldn't lessen the punishment, because the defendant might not be sincere about their motives." That's what we need to strengthen - don't go soft on the bad guy, because they might be worse than they claim they are. A harsh rule!

Answer A does nothing to help that argument, because the argument is not about creating laws, nor is it about basing a decision solely on a psychological state. It's about a judge having, or not having, some leeway to consider motives among other factors.

I hope that helps, lilmiss!
Adam M. Tyson
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