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Complete Question Explanation

The correct answer choice is (D).

To understand what these legal theorists believe we must return to the first paragraph of the passage, because that is where their argument is laid out for us by the author. We could prephrase several things that they must believe, including that civil liability imposes punishment, aims at deterrence, and degrades the reputation of the company. They must believe that criminal sanctions are less likely to assess appropriate damages, and that it would be inappropriate to overly burden society with the costs of those damages. Finally, they must believe that civil liability is not as burdened by procedural protections as is criminal liability. Any of these would make for a good answer.

Answer choice (A): This answer is far too strong, as these theorists do believe that criminal liability provides at least some deterrent effect.

Answer choice (B): "Than there should be" is the problem with this answer. The legal theorists would agree that criminal liability involves more procedural protections that civil liability, but there is nothing to suggest that they believe this is improper or that those protections should be reduced. They just believe that the difference weighs in favor of civil liability for corporations.

Answer choice (C): The first paragraph does not address what the main function of criminal law is, and so we cannot be sure what these theorists would say on that subject. It is only the author who, in the second paragraph, takes a position on that issue.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer. There is at least some evidence to support this position. The theorists argue that civil liability is more likely to impose an appropriate level of damages, and they are concerned about damages from criminal liability that are too high and place a burden on society. Consider the negation of this answer - if the theorists did not believe this, why would they be arguing in favor or civil liability and against criminal liability?

Answer choice (E): This answer contradicts the information in the passage as described above. The theorists agree that civil liability DOES degrade a company's reputation.
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During blind review I was second guessing my answer of D and found B to be attractive- however I realized in the passage it says that “civil liability is also more cost effective from the POV of the GOVERNMENT: the greater procedural protections of crim law.....” Therefore it is fair to get rid of answer B because that’s not something that the legal theorists believe but rather the government?

 Adam Tyson
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I think the best reason to reject answer B, kenlars5, is that the author takes no position on whether those procedural protections should be lowered. Rather, they believe that because civil liability is less costly, due in part to lower procedural hurdles, it is the better choice. They may be perfectly content with the existing level of procedural protections and are not at all committed to an opinion that they should be reduced!

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