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Which of the following sentence is the correct one:

  1. Police found all the pieces of evidence against John. Thus, by suspecting that Mr. John was responsible for Rachel's death, Police arrested him.

  2. Police found all the pieces of evidence against John. Thus, due to their suspicion that Mr. John was responsible for Rachel's death, Police arrested him.

Both of the above sentences appear correct to me. However, many of my colleagues suggested that the second is the better one.

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The first one is definitely incorrect. When you have the phrase "by [-ing verb]", you're describing an action that achieves a direct result. For example:

By planting flowers in the yard, I made my property more attractive.

In your example 1, you are suggesting that the police used the method of suspecting Mr. John's responsibility to arrest him. This doesn't make sense, since suspicion is not an actual act that arrests a person. It might be the reason why they made an arrest, but it's not the action that directly results in an arrest. If you wanted to use "by [-ing verb]" with an arrest, then this makes sense:

By handcuffing Mr. John and taking him into custody, police arrested him.

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