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  • Posts: 62
  • Joined: Sep 17, 2016
Why is the answer A for this question? I see no mention of fairness in the second paragraph, which mentions that the second rationale for punishing criminals is founded on the severity of the crime rather than social benefit. So doesn't the correctness of an action depend on its consequences, which directly relate to the severity of the crime committed?
 Claire Horan
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 408
  • Joined: Apr 18, 2016
Generally the LSAT is not going to use the same word in the answer choices as in the stimulus, as that would make the test too easy. The word "justified/just" is used in the second paragraph as a synonym for "fair": "But from the retributivist point of view, the question to be asked about punishment is not whether it is beneficial, but whether it is just." Later in the passage, the author pairs the words "just" and "fairly," further indicating what the author meant by "just."

You can also take a step back and think about the structure of the passage. In the beginning, the utilitarian rationale and the retributivist rationale are contrasted. It is only later in the passage that the author tries to synthesize them. So, because the question asks about paragraph two, your answer should involve the way that the retributivist (second) rationale is contrasted against the utilitarian (first) rationale.
  • Posts: 116
  • Joined: Mar 14, 2018
I would not be able to get to A without POE technique. With that being said, I was between A and E. I chose E, although strong, because I thought "entirely dependent" would be justified in the second paragraph where it states about the second rationale, "justified by severity of the crime, independent of ANY benefit to society".

I realize it doesn't explicitly state that it's entirely on it's consequences by not including any "benefit to society" but thought it's still supported.

Is the reason stated above the correct reason to get rid of E? How should one do that besides looking at "depends entirely is too strong".

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