EXPLAINER: Ex-cop trial to include ‘spark of life’ on Floyd

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors trying a former Minneapolis police officer in George Floyd’s death plan to use a legal doctrine called “spark of life” to humanize Floyd in front of jurors. Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank says he plans to call two witnesses to provide the testimony. Spark-of-life is a term unique to Minnesota that allows prosecutors to describe a murder victim’s life to jurors. It’s a contentious doctrine. Defense attorneys argue spark-of-life testimony has nothing to do with evidence and allows prosecutors to unfairly build sympathy with jurors. The moves could backfire on Frank. If he paints too rosy a picture of Floyd defense attorneys could cross-examine his witnesses about Floyd’s drug use.