Judge Allows ‘Spark of Life’ Evidence in Chauvin Trial

Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill Wednesday morning decided to allow “spark of life” evidence on behalf of the prosecution in the highly-anticipated trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, but warned prosecutors not to go too far. 

“We’re all familiar with the ‘spark of life’ doctrine – that essentially, like you say, this is not just a person who we label ‘victim’ and we depersonalize him – that Mr. Floyd in this case isn’t entitled to have the jury realize that he was a human being, he was loved, he had a family,” Cahill said. “I think if it’s basically evidence that will not call for cross examination, I think that’s generally well within the bounds.”

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