Felony Murder Rule Law and Legal Definition

Felony murder rule is a legal doctrine that widens the scope of murder. According to the rule, it checks if the killing occured during the commission or attempted commission of a felony. Likewise, if the killing occued in connection to the felony, the person or persons responsible for the felony will be charged with murder. Here, the intent to kill is not necessary for felony murder. The main requirement is that there should be a causal connection between the felony and the killing. This rule broadens the crime of murder in two ways:

1. when an offender kills accidentally or without specific intent to kill in the course of an applicable felony, what might have been manslaughter is escalated to murder; and

2. it makes any participant in such a felony criminally liable for any deaths that occur during or in furtherance of that felony.