The Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law Chapter 11: Excuse Me! Excuse pg 10: Who is the “reasonable person”?
Let’s go back to that phrase “reasonable person.” It’s used a lot in the law. In this defense, you’d need the jury to believe that a reasonable person—not just the accused person—would have been equally provoked.
Average Joe talking head
It’s an “objective test.”
(When you’re concerned with what the accused was actually thinking, we say you’re being subjective.
When you’re concerned instead with what some hypothetical reasonable person would have thought in that situation, you’re being objective.)
Legal theorists have tried for generations to come up with a definition of “reasonable person” that juries could apply. But in real life, when a juror is asked to think of what a reasonable person would have done, he simply asks if he would have acted that way himself.
A variety of people sitting in a jury box
In other words, the theoretical “reasonable person” in practice is simply the jury itself.
[SUGGESTED EDIT: Mention that this makes sense, because the jury represents the community, and they’re applying their community’s values]