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Critical Thinking, Thoughtful Writing, Second Edition
John Chaffee et al.
Tom Randall's Halloween Party
The Test of Critical Thinking Abilities

We live in a complex world filled with challenging and often perplexing issues that we are expected to make sense of. Many social issues are analyzed and evaluated through our judicial system. This test is designed to give you the opportunity to think seriously and express your ideas about a complex social issue. Imagine that you have been selected to serve on a jury that is asked to render a verdict on the following situation.
The defendant, Tom Randall, is a twenty-one-year-old college senior in a state where the legal drinking age is twenty-one. On October 21, he hosted a Halloween party in his apartment. Twenty-eight men and women attended the party. Alcohol was served, in the form of beer, wine, and liquor. One of the partygoers was Kelly Greene, an eighteen-year-old freshman at the same college. During the course of the evening, Ms. Greene allegedly consumed an undetermined amount of alcohol. While she was driving back to her dorm after the party, at approximately 12:15 a.m., Ms. Greene struck two students who were crossing the street at an intersection. One student, Melissa Anderson, was killed instantly. A second student, Edward Montgomery, was hospitalized with multiple fractures. The police officer at the scene gave the following report regarding the driver of the car, Kelly Greene: "I noticed that her speech was slurred, that she was not entirely coherent, and that her breath smelled of alcohol. I asked her to take a Breathalyzer test to determine the amount of alcohol in her bloodstream. She refused. I placed her under arrest." Ms. Greene has been charged with Driving While Intoxicated and Vehicular Manslaughter. Her case is currently pending. Mr. Randall, the defendant in this case, is being charged with Involuntary Manslaughter. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in jail.
Now follow the links below to reach your verdict about Tom Randall's Halloween party.

Step 1. Gathering and Weighing the Evidence

Step 2. Asking Important Questions

Step 3. Constructing Knowledge

Step 4. Evaluating Expert Testimony

Step 5. Evaluating Summation Arguments

Step 6. Deliberating the Issues

Step 7. Reaching a Verdict

Step 8. Solving Problems