LAW, CONTINUITY AND CHANGE: REVISITING THE REASONABLE PERSON WITHIN THE DEMOGRAPHIC, SOCIOCULTURAL AND POLITICAL REALITIES OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

Author: 

Marvin L. Astrada & Scott B. Astrada

This article examines the tensions that exist between legal constructs (as traditionally conceived and practiced) and present society. More specifically, this article delves into and revisits one of law’s most enduring legal fictions: The legal concept of the Reasonable Person. The central question this article addresses is: Does this enduring legal fiction, utilized since the inception of American society, require a conceptual reassessment due to the fact that it bears little if any resemblance to the world from and for which it was created? This article contends that the Reasonable Person does not adequately reflect reasonableness and the average Everyman in an increasingly diverse population, especially as it relates to the profound demographic changes taking place on the national landscape. The concept of the Reasonable Person does not accurately reflect the sociocultural realities of the present People, and it requires fundamental revision if it is to accurately reflect and serve the People and aid the courts in the fair administration of justice in the twenty-first century. View More