Complete Question Explanation
Strengthen—PR. The correct answer choice is (A)
John concludes that the officer treated him unfairly when the officer gave him a speeding ticket, because many other people who were speeding just as much were not ticketed.
Mary concludes that John was not treated unfairly, since all those speeders had an equal chance of being stopped, but the officer could not stop everyone.
John’s position is based on the assumption that fairness would require equal results, whereas Mary’s position is based on the assumption that an equal chance at the same results is sufficient for fairness.
Since you are asked to help justify Mary’s conclusion with a principle, you should look for a principle that reflects her assumption.
Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice. Mary assumes that when everyone who breaks a law has an equal chance of being penalized, that is sufficient to establish that the law is fairly applied to any of those lawbreakers who are penalized.
Answer choice (B): Neither John nor Mary was concerned with whether deterrence or punishment is more important, so this choice is entirely off topic. You should not assume that Mary bases her concept of “fair” on “deterrence.”
Answer choice (C): If the penalties for those who violate laws should be applied to all and only those who break the law, that offers more support for John, who believes it is unfair that he is the only one who received a ticket. Since you are supposed to support Mary, not John, this choice is wrong.
Answer choice (D): Mary seems to think it is perfectly fair to enforce the law some, but not all, of the time. This response states that enforcement is fair only if applied to all lawbreakers or to none of them, so this incorrect choice offers support for John rather than Mary.
Answer choice (E): This response states that fairness involves penalizing all lawbreakers equally, not the chance of being penalized, so this incorrect choice offers support for John rather than Mary.