Denise: Crime will be reduced only when punishment is certain and is sufficiently severe to give anyone considering ...

on May 20, 2020

please explain;)

is the answer what it is because it is the only one that does not directly mention punishment of any kind?

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Shunhe on May 29, 2020

Hi @mkonovodoff,

Thanks for the question! I wouldn’t say that the lack of mentioning punishment is the reason that (A) is correct. After all, the only answer choice that really does mention punishment is (E). Let’s walk through this first. Denise says that crime will be reduced only when punishment is sufficient and certainly severe; Reshmi, on the other hand, says that crime will be most effectively reduced if educational opportunities are available to people.

Now we’re asked to find something that they both agree on, and this is likely going to have to do with a common assumption they both have, since nothing they’ve explicitly said really agrees in any way. You could try to pre-phrase something, but it wouldn’t be the worst to go through the answer choices, and happily, the first answer choice is the right one here. (A) tells us that they both agree that people are capable of choosing whether or not to commit crimes. Well, does Denise agree with this statement? Yes, otherwise, it wouldn’t matter how certain/severe the punishment were if people couldn’t choose. If they couldn’t, they’d do the crime regardless of the punishment. Notice also the language of “deciding against” doing so, which implies having the ability to choose. Does Reshmi agree with this statement? Well, yes, because Reshmi is assuming that people will choose a different path once given better incentives, but this requires the ability to choose.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.