LSAT 7 – Section 4 – Question 10

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT7 S4 Q10
Most strongly supported +MSS
+Medium 150.378 +SubsectionHarder

Here we have a most strongly supported question: The statements above, if true, most strongly support which one of the following conclusions?

The first thing the stimulus tells us is that there is a growing discrepancy between the punishments for famous and unknown defendants convicted of the same crime, where the famous person gets off with community service while the unknown person almost always gets real prison time. So your average Joe gets 5 years in prison for his DUI, but the new famous singer gets a couple months picking up trash; seems pretty unfair! The stimulus ends by reminding us that the principle of equality before the law demands that fame and publicity are put to the side when deciding a case. So the law is supposed to consider the crime itself and not whether the person who committed it is a celebrity. And that’s all we learn! We’re looking for a conclusion that would be a good fit for these premises; it will follow without us having to make any unreasonable assumptions. Let’s see what we get:

Answer Choice (A) We have reason to believe it is not being applied in some cases, but to say it is only being applied in a few cases requires a wild assumption; namely that just because this one subset of cases (cases with famous defendants) seems to be increasingly breaking the principle, that most cases are breaking it! We unfortunately just don’t know anything about cases other than these well-publicized trials; we always want to avoid concluding about things we haven’t been told anything about on MSS questions.

Answer Choice (B) Although their fame should not affect the decision concerning their punishment, that doesn’t mean there needs to be the same outcome as people without fame. Maybe celebrities tend to commit worse crimes so they should be getting more prison time even if we treat them the same as non-celebrities (i.e. judge their crimes rather than their fame).

Answer Choice (C) We have been given no information about any principles that can override it.

Correct Answer Choice (D) The growing variance in punishments for similar crimes suggests that in some cases celebrities are getting special treatment, which would break the principle of equality.

Answer Choice (E) Treating everyone equally doesn’t mean you can never be lenient depending on the case. It does mean that you can’t be lenient just because someone is famous, but we haven’t been told about anything else the principle rules out. To draw this conclusion requires we assume that the principle exclude any other possible reason for leniency; that’s a big assumption.

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