Law School Discussion

pt 33 lr 1, #17 dec. 00

pt 33 lr 1, #17 dec. 00
« on: August 14, 2008, 08:26:47 PM »
expert witness:
ten times, and in controlled circumstances, a single drop of the defendants blood was allowed to fall onto the fabric. And  in all ten cases the stained area was much less than the expected 9.5cm.  In fact the stained area was always between 4.5 adn 4.8 cm.  I conclude that a single drop of the defendants blood stains much less than 9.5cm of the fabric.

Which one of the following, if true, most undermines the value of the evidence for the expert witness's conclusion?

C: In an eleventh test drop of the defendants blood, the area stained was also less than 9.5cm-this time staining 9.3cm

B: Expert witnesses have sometimes been known to fudge their data to accord with the prosecution's case.

Since B is wrong I believe that it is do to its use of "sometimes", which would not necesarily indicate this witness.  However, C doesn't really appear to undermine the conclusion either.  All it states is that the blood stained more, which is great, but still doesn't change the fact that the conclusion is about staining much less than 9.5.  Although 9.3 is certianly more than 4.8cm it could still be considered "much less" with the definition of "much less" being undefined.

My apologies if my logic isn't clear, anyways, anyone got any ideas?

Re: pt 33 lr 1, #17 dec. 00
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2008, 08:41:37 PM »
tag...I had the same problem with this one too!  Sorry I can't help, but I'd like to know the reasoning as well

Re: pt 33 lr 1, #17 dec. 00
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2008, 12:03:14 AM »
you both missed B in relation to the stimulus.

the expert witness supports the defendant's case (the blood stained much less than the expected amount).

B says expert witnesses fudge for the prosecution. this isn't an issue. the evidence presented doesn't further the prosecution's case. this is an opposite answer.

Re: pt 33 lr 1, #17 dec. 00
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2008, 12:40:28 PM »
Thanks to all for the insight.  It seems that here choice C is right because none of the others are any good.  I still have a problem with the idea that something that is still less (like the 11th blood stain) is considered to weaken the arg.  I feel that in a test built around precise language, a better/less questionable answer choice should have been supplied.  Nothing I can do about it though; just venting.  Thanks again for the help.

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Re: pt 33 lr 1, #17 dec. 00
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2008, 12:06:44 AM »
B is also wrong because it attacks the witness' character, not the argument.  Besides, we don't even know if this is the prosecution's witness.

Thanks to all for the insight.  It seems that here choice C is right because none of the others are any good.

This is not a bad reason to pick an answer choice.

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I still have a problem with the idea that something that is still less (like the 11th blood stain) is considered to weaken the arg.

Like Lindbergh said, we're not trying to conclusively destroy the argument (though that would be fine), we're just trying to weaken it.  Regardless of the ambiguity in the terms used, the idea of "much less" becomes "not quite as much less" when we consider that 11th trial.  That in and of itself weakens the argument.

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I feel that in a test built around precise language, a better/less questionable answer choice should have been supplied.

I understand your feelings here, and to many students some things on the test seem ambiguous or arbitrary.  However, LSAC actually does a pretty darn good job staying consistent with how their questions work and in fact having and objectively correct credited response.  The better you get at analyzing and attacking these problems, the less questionable the answer choices will seem.