(E) As soon as you come to "the harsher" begin looking for its partner in the comparative mode: in this case, "the less willing." [Simple examples of this construction: "The bigger, the better." "The higher you climb, the harder you fall."] The verb "maintains" in the first part of the sentence is properly followed by "penalties [that are] . . . required" and then by "are to impose them" in the last part.
(A) Improper word order. Required is the pattern "the harsher . . . the less willing".
(B) The pattern "the harsher . . . the less willing" is absent. Moreover, the idea is expressed verbosely and awkwardly.
(C) Again, "the harsher . . . the less willing" construction is absent. The phrase "less willing about imposing them" is unidiomatic. Judges and juries would be less willing "to impose" them.
(D) A good start is made with "the less willing" but what follows is wordy and awkward. Contrast this version with the correct version, (E).
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