The quantity and type of pollution that entered the river last Thursday night suggest that the local auto repair shop...

rpark on December 29, 2019

Please Explain

Why is the answer not D

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SamA on January 8, 2020

Hello @rpark,

Let's break down this argument.

The author concludes that it would not be justifiable to impose the penalty in this case.

What reasoning is this conclusion based on? The author believes that stronger evidence is required to justify a severe penalty. The penalty is very severe, but the evidence is not very strong.

When we are asked to choose a principle to justify the reasoning, we need an answer choice that, if valid, means that the author made the right decision. In this particular question, our principle should indicate that it would not be justifiable to impose the penalty.

D is incorrect, because the likelihood a confession is not relevant to the author's argument. As far as we are concerned, there has been no admission of guilt, so the evidence remains the same. Even if it is unlikely, there could still be a confession, at which point the author would change his mind. We are not trying to make predictions, we need to stick to the facts given in the stimulus.

Answer choice A follows the author's logic exactly, and supports the conclusion. Basically, a harsher penalty requires greater certainty of guilt.