View Single Post
Old October 27, 2018, 03:28 PM   #17
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 11,450
Originally Posted by Spats McGee
I'm afraid that you'd be wrong. The "reasonable man" standard is entirely objective, not subjective. Under that standard, the judge or jury is to determine whether a "reasonable man" in the actor's shoes would have done, would have believed, etc. A subjective test, depends on what that actor actually believed, what information he or she possessed, etc.
I respectfully disagree. The law may regard the reasonable man standard as "objective," but on a jury of twelve human beings, I respectfully submit that no two will ever agree on exactly where to draw the line between "reasonable" use of force and "unreasonable" use of force. The line isn't defined in the law, it is determined by a consensus of the jurors in each case. That is absolutely not objective. And when you say that "A subjective test, depends on what that actor actually believed, what information he or she possessed, etc." -- isn't that what a determination of what a hypothetical reasonable man would have done under the same circumstances and possessing the same information is all about? It might be reasonable for this hypothetical reasonable man to shoot a stickup artist who is pointing a gun at a cashier in the corner Stop-n-Rob, whereas it probably isn't reasonable for the hypothetical reasonable man to shoot a guy who is engaged in a verbal (only) dispute with a female on a street corner. The first case is fairly obvious. In the second, the defendant may have believed that the male was going to assault the female, so he shot him. The jury will then have to decide whether or not that belief was reasonable, based on the information that the defendant had available to him at the moment.

Best hypothetical: A person uses a firearm (lethal force) to defend himself under less than textbook conditions. He is charged and tried. The trial results in a mistrial because the jury can't decide whether or not a "hypothetical reasonable man" would have shot the alleged assailant under the same circumstances. If the jury can't agree on whether or not the use of force was reasonable, how can the standard be objective?

But ... the prosecutor isn't happy, so he takes it to another trial. This time the jury votes to acquit. Meanwhile, down the hall in another trial, a defendant in a mirror image case is convicted.

Objective standard? No.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; October 27, 2018 at 03:37 PM.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Page generated in 0.03057 seconds with 8 queries