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 Administrator
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#22881
Complete Question Explanation

Strengthen X. The correct answer choice is (D)

This short stimulus is very straightforward: when it comes to computer crimes which are discovered and reported, the chances of arrest and conviction favor the criminal. The question is a Strengthen Except, which means that the four incorrect answer choices will strengthen the argument, or show reasons why computer crime may be relatively less likely to lead to conviction and arrest.

Answer choice (A): This answer choice strengthens the author's assertion, so this is an incorrect response to the Strengthen Except question. If prosecutors want to win as many cases as possible, and computer cases take longer, then there is reason to believe that prosecutors wouldn't want to invest undue time into less productive cases.

Answer choice (B): This answer choice also strengthens the author's assertion. If most officers are rotated too quickly to become good at prosecuting computer cases, then this would clearly favor the criminals.

Answer choice (C): This answer choice is also incorrect, since it provides another reason to believe the author's assertion: relatively less focus on computer crimes would likely translate into lower rates of arrest and conviction.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. This potentially tricky answer has no effect on the argument in the stimulus, because this answer deals not with arrest or conviction, but with sentencing, a completely distinct part of the process.

Answer choice (E): This response strengthens the author's argument, because routine accidental destruction of evidence is likely to lead to lower rates of arrest and conviction.
 egarcia193
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#36865
Hi,

I don't see how answer D has no effect on the stimulus as it talks about serving time in prison but to serve time you must first be convicted so why does D have no effect on the stimulus rather than strengthing it? I chose A because I thought it was the best answer out of what I was given not because I believed it was a strong answer.
 AthenaDalton
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#36925
Hi egarcia,

This question is asking us to focus on factors that make a computer criminal unlikely to be arrested and convicted.

Keep in mind that even if a person is convicted, the judge can issue a sentence that doesn't involve prison time, such as probation (living outside of prison under supervision), paying fines, etc. So when answer choice (D) talks about sentencing, it's a distinct concept from arrest and conviction. A timeline for a criminal to get to the sentencing phase would look like this:

Suspect arrested by police :arrow: suspect charged by prosecutor :arrow: suspect convicted by jury :arrow: suspect receives sentence from judge

For answer choice (D), it could be the case that large numbers of computer criminals have been convicted, but receive sentences that don't involve prison time, like paying fines or promising to refrain from using the internet. Answer choice (D) gives us information about what sentencing for a computer criminal is likely to look like, but it doesn't tell us whether a computer criminal is likely to be arrested and convicted in the first place.

Answer choice (A) tells us that computer criminals are less likely to be prosecuted because preparing such cases for a jury trial takes so long. Essentially, answer choice (A) tells us that prosecutors may choose not to bring a case before a jury because it's too time consuming. This would result in fewer computer criminals being convicted -- if prosecutors don't pursue the case, the computer criminal goes free.

Hope this makes sense,

Athena Dalton
 martinbeslu
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#42544
This question definitely requires outside knowledge. I assumed that a conviction was when a judge declares a punishment/penalty for a crime. I assumed, for example, that if a person is convicted of a crime such as possession of an illegal drug they will get a fine and if they are convicted of possessing a large quantity of an illegal drug (drug dealer) they will get jail time. I thought that the determination of jail time vs no jail time was dictated by the statutes and that the judge/jury decided what crime the defendant was guilty of and then convicted the defendant of the appropriate crime (which comes with some specific type of penalty). I guess I need to study up on my legal knowledge for this test?
 Claire Horan
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#42580
Hi Martin,

Sentencing is done by judges after juries convict a criminal defendant. You are right that sentencing is somewhat constrained by statute, but in many cases judges still have a lot of discretion, and a sentencing hearing allows a judge to consider all of the permissible factors before deciding on a sentence.

More generally, I agree with you that some outside knowledge of law is helpful on the LSAT. That doesn't just extend to law knowledge though. Many of the questions are easier with a biology background, or an economics background, or an understanding of how the American government is structured. In my opinion, the LSAT assumes a strong and generalized college education. So, you may want to consider if your college education was fairly light in any particular area.

I would suggest a really basic guide written for the general public, though, such as a "for dummies" type of book because the test makers know that test takers have not yet been to law school.

I don't want to raise your anxiety on this, though. Your point increase or decrease based on a lack of any particular bit of knowledge would only be slight, so doing this supplementary reading might not have too much of a payoff for your score. But if you are seeking a very high score, are far along in your LSAT preparation, and/or have a long period of time which you plan to devote, it couldn't hurt to get a better basic knowledge of some of these topics. Since broad knowledge is what you are looking for, it can also be helpful to do more nonfiction reading in general, particularly somewhat academic magazines that may be somewhat similar to reading comprehension passages.
 Blueballoon5%
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#44482
Hello! Why does answer choice E strengthen the argument? I was confused about this choice because it has the ambiguous word "many." It refers to "many police officers who are untrained in computers" but it is possible that these "many" officers are only a handful of the actual police force assigned to computer crimes (e.g. 3 officers are untrained and "inadvertently destroy the physical evidence," while 15 other officers are trained and do their job diligently. Thus, the stimulus would be weakened or neutral, not strengthened).

Hope you can help! Thanks!
 Adam Tyson
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#44483
You're right that there may be many more who are trained and would not destroy the evidence, Blueballoon, but the presence of many who might destroy the evidence due to a lack of training increases the chances of the criminal getting away with the crime. It's not neutral, and it certainly doesn't weaken the argument, to introduce the possibility of evidence being destroyed, evidence that might aid in the arrest and conviction of the criminal.

Sure, there might be other officers who do a good job, but the answer doesn't say that - it says there are many who will screw things up. The answer, as given and without adding any outside info, makes it more likely the culprits will skate. How many is many? I don't know - it's ambiguous, as you said - but even if it is just two or three, that still means more help for the bad guy! A strengthen answer doesn't have to prove the conclusion of the argument, but only help it. Even just a little help is still help!
 Blueballoon5%
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#44484
Thanks Adam! I need to keep reminding myself with strengthen questions that a little support can still be considered a strengthened answer choice.

Thanks again!!
 sy7705
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#61896
Hello! I actually chose (B) as the answer choice because "investigating" seemed like part of the "discovering and reporting" process, rather than the "arresting and convicting" process. I was wondering if that would be too big of an assumption, since investigating is also important for arresting/convicting.
Administrator wrote:Complete Question Explanation

Strengthen X. The correct answer choice is (D)

This short stimulus is very straightforward: when it comes to computer crimes which are discovered and reported, the chances of arrest and conviction favor the criminal. The question is a Strengthen Except, which means that the four incorrect answer choices will strengthen the argument, or show reasons why computer crime may be relatively less likely to lead to conviction and arrest.

Answer choice (A): This answer choice strengthens the author's assertion, so this is an incorrect response to the Strengthen Except question. If prosecutors want to win as many cases as possible, and computer cases take longer, then there is reason to believe that prosecutors wouldn't want to invest undue time into less productive cases.

Answer choice (B): This answer choice also strengthens the author's assertion. If most officers are rotated too quickly to become good at prosecuting computer cases, then this would clearly favor the criminals.

Answer choice (C): This answer choice is also incorrect, since it provides another reason to believe the author's assertion: relatively less focus on computer crimes would likely translate into lower rates of arrest and conviction.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. This potentially tricky answer has no effect on the argument in the stimulus, because this answer deals not with arrest or conviction, but with sentencing, a completely distinct part of the process.

Answer choice (E): This response strengthens the author's argument, because routine accidental destruction of evidence is likely to lead to lower rates of arrest and conviction.
 Jay Donnell
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#61913
Hi Sy7705!

In this case here I believe you did make a bit too big of a jump here in moving the concept of 'investigating' from what the police would do, to what the victims would do.

For one, it's always a bit silly to put questions from 1991 in perspective, especially in regards to covering "modern" technology. I always get a kick out of the passages that refer to this new "internet" thing that may come along soon and change the game :ras:

In regards to this question, there is a bit of a sequence of events and at some point there has to be a gap from what happens before and after the police get involved. Best I can come up with, the timeline is something like this:

-Crime happens

-Crime is discovered

-Crime is reported (to the authorities)

-----cops take over here-------

-Crime is investigated

-Suspect is identified

-Suspect is arrested

-Suspect is convicted

-Suspect is sentenced


Since the stimulus only discusses the odds of the perpetrator of a computer crime being arrested and convicted, (D) fails to add support as the concept of sentencing time is away from the focus of the situation.

However, being a good investigator seems directly related to the ability to identify and pursue the criminal, so if the police were not able to gain sufficient investigative skills, the process would certainly be hindered.

I hope that clears that up!

Remember to watch out for all that computer crime out there, and don't send any money to anonymous Nigerian princes!

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