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Felony Murder Doctrine

Definition - What does Felony Murder Doctrine mean?

The felony murder doctrine is a law stating that if a crime occurs and results in innocent people dying, the person who committed the criminal act would be charged with the murder of the innocent people. An example is when an armed robbery occurs and innocent bystanders are shot; the robbers would be charged with murder as well. Likewise, if a murder occurs—such as a drive-by shooting and other people die as a result of the first intentional death—the murderer would be charged individually with each person's death as separate murder charges.

Justipedia explains Felony Murder Doctrine

The felony murder doctrine is often applied with the three strikes law to create life imprisonment terms or even death penalty cases in some states. It means that a criminal cannot get away with being charged with manslaughter if they kill someone in the act of a crime, as the stipulation for manslaughter is that it was not meant to happen but the fact that another crime was purposely undertaken means that without the intent to do criminal harm of some kind, the death would not have resulted.

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