Judge Peter Cahill has barred the prosecution in the George Floyd murder trial from describing the deceased convicted felon Floyd as a “gentle giant” or “peaceful person,” just days after allowing a motion that bans the prosecution’s use of comparisons between Floyd’s death and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Minnesota Public Radio reported Wednesday that Judge Cahill “said the family testimony or “spark of life testimony” is a traditional part of murder trials … which allow for the humanization of the victim — to show that they were loved and valued. But he cautioned that he will not allow ‘character evidence’ – which he defined as any testimony that may describe Floyd as a ‘peaceful person’ or ‘gentle giant.’”
“As soon as you start getting into propensity for violence or propensity for peacefulness, I think then you’re getting into character evidence,” Cahill reportedly said, adding, “And then that does open the door for the defense to cross-examine about his character for peacefulness.”
…which allow for the humanization of the victim — to show that they were loved and valued. But he cautioned that he will not allow ‘character evidence’ – which he defined as any testimony that may describe Floyd as a ‘peaceful person’ or ‘gentle giant.’
— Brandt Williams (@BrandtMPR) March 10, 2021
The term “gentle giant” first gained prominence when Mike Brown was shot dead in Ferguson, Missouri after robbing a convenience store and rushing a police officer.
As National File reported on Wednesday, Cahill has also banned the prosecution from comparing Floyd’s death to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ:
Judge Peter Cahill granted a motion preventing the death of convicted felon George Floyd from being likened to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ during the Derek Chauvin murder trial striking a major blow to Black Lives Matter activists who had hoped to paint Floyd as a martyred holy figure.
The judge was presented with the following motion on Monday:
“The Defendant moves the Court for an Order precluding any expert from likening the death of George Floyd to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the ground that such analogy is prejudicial.”
Judge Cahill agree with the motion and it was passed without incident. The defense team cited previous instances of Floyd being compared to Jesus Christ by eyewitnesses, which were quickly recognized by the judge as inaccurate and prejudicial.
The move was met with outrage by Black Lives Matter activists, who had hoped to paint Floyd as a messianic figure.
Several jurors have been confirmed to be Black Lives Matter supporters but were still deemed impartial enough to pass the selection process.