Defendants who can afford expensive private defense lawyers have a lower conviction rate than those who rely on court...

Filippo on June 16 at 06:48PM

Why is D the correct answer? Why is B correct?

Could anybody please explain this? Thank you!

1 Reply

Victoria on June 26 at 02:34PM

Hi @filozinni,

Happy to help!

The passage offers an explanation for why criminals who commit white-collar crimes are more successful at avoiding conviction than street criminals.

The explanation offered is that those defendants who can afford expensive defence lawyers have a lower conviction rate than those who use public defenders.

Answer choice (D) is correct because it eliminates an alternative explanation. It is possible that white-collar criminals are more successful at avoiding conviction than street criminals because they are more likely to be accused of crimes they did not actually commit. Answer choice (D) tells us that the percentage of defendants who actually committed the crimes they are accused of does not differ between those who are publicly as opposed to privately defended. This makes it more likely that the difference in conviction rate is due to the quality of their defence.

Answer choice (B) is tempting but it actually weakens the explanation. The passage suggests that it is the difference in lawyers which results in the lower conviction rate. This explanation is undermined if it is actually true that the lower conviction rate is due to incompetent prosecutors as opposed to the defence.

Hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any further questions.