Not A Child, Not Yet An Adult: Why Maryland’s Laws Pertaining To Juveniles Charged With Felony Murder Have Not Kept Pace With Evolving Standards
Maryland, like every other state in the country, has a juvenile court system set up to promote the welfare of juveniles, to develop the character of the juvenile to become a productive member of society, and to instill public safety and protection of the community. See Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article (C.J.) § 3-8A-02.
In Maryland, the law recognizes distinctions between juveniles and adults, and in many criminal cases, provides juveniles with the benefit of having their criminal case heard in juvenile court, or at the very least, provides the juvenile with the opportunity to have a hearing to determine whether the case may be transferred to juvenile court.
But for a certain subset of juveniles, namely 16 and 17-year-olds charged with first-degree murder, the law treats these children as though they are adults, providing no opportunity for these juveniles to have a hearing to determine whether their cases would be appropriate to transfer to juvenile court.
It may seem absurd to think that society would permit an almost 18-year-old to be subject to juvenile court jurisdiction for only three plus years (as jurisdiction of the juvenile court terminates at age 21), for committing the crime of first-degree murder.
However, there may be legitimate (and constitutional) reasons for giving all juveniles, the opportunity to have their case transferred to juvenile court. Alternatively, if 16 and 17-year-olds charged with first-degree murder are still required to be charged in adult court, there may be valid (and again constitutional) reasons for mandating special sentencing practices before a court may impose a life with the possibility of parole sentence upon a juvenile.
These reasons should become even more apparent in the context of a juvenile charged with first-degree felony murder, an offense which has drawn worldwide criticism not just in the context of charging a juvenile, but in its application to adults as well.
Legislation in Other States Demonstrates a Trend Towards Eliminating or Downgrading Felony Murder for All.
Current legislation provides objective evidence of contemporary national values. Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48, 62 (2010). There has been a national shift towards eliminating or limiting the severity of the felony murder rule.
Hawaii, for example, has eliminated the felony murder rule in its entirety. Hawaii has condemned dispensing with the need to prove the culpability of a mental state of murder and notes that the rule does not serve a legitimate deterrent function since the actor has already disregarded the presumably sufficient penalties imposed for the underlying felony.
Many states now require independent mental states to be proven other than the malice from the underlying offense itself, such as: Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Vermont.
Florida passed legislation altering its juvenile-sentencing scheme so that a juvenile convicted of felony murder may not be sentenced to life imprisonment until after a sentencing hearing that is in accordance with Fla. Stat. Ann. § 921.1401. See Fla. Stat. Ann. § 775.082(b) (2014). Specifically, the sentencing court must consider ten factors relevant to the offense and the defendant’s youth and attendant circumstances. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 921.1401. If the sentencing court then determines that a life sentence is appropriate, the juvenile will be automatically entitled to a review of his sentence after 25 years. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 921.1402(2)(a).
The United States is not the only country making sweeping reforms as it relates to felony murder. Objective evidence of a “social and professional consensus” that a form of punishment is cruel and unusual may include trends and views from outside the United States. Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304, 316-17, n.21 (2002); Thompson v. Oklahoma, 487 U.S. 815, 830 (1988) England abolished its version of felony murder in 1957. India likewise has abolished its version of felony murder. The Canadian Supreme Court eliminated accessorial felony murder liability because such punishment runs counter to “the principle that punishment must be proportionate to the moral blameworthiness of the offender.”
Maryland Courts have said that “the felony-murder rule is a legal fiction in which the intent and the malice to commit the underlying felony is ‘transferred’ to elevate an unintentional killing to first degree murder…” State v. Allen, 387 Md. 389, 401 (2005) (citation omitted). There need not be an intent to kill nor an intent to cause harm to the victim. Finke v. State, 56 Md. App. 450, 481 (1983), cert. denied, 299 Md. 425 (1984), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1043 (1984). “[T]here is no need to prove wilfulness, deliberation and premeditation.” Newton v. State, 280 Md. 260, 268 (1977) (internal citations omitted).
Earlier this year in Maryland, Delegates Crutchfield, Moon, and Barron proposed House Bill 1338 to prohibit an individual younger than age 18 from being convicted of first-degree murder under the felony murder provision under State law, let alone being sentenced to life under first-degree felony murder. House Bill 1338 also authorized a person convicted of first-degree murder under the felony murder provision who was a child at the time of the offense to apply for a review of the person’s conviction under specified circumstances. Unfortunately, because the legislative session was cut short due to COVID-19, this bill did not pass. However, it is anticipated that a similar bill is going to be reintroduced at the end of 2020.
The reduced quantum of proof in establishing first-degree murder has caused the felony-murder doctrine to be called “[o]ne of the most controversial doctrines in the field of criminal law…” Erwin S. Barbre, Annotation, What Felonies are Inherently or Foreseeably Dangerous to Human Life for Purposes of Felony-Murder Doctrine, 50 A.L.R.3d 397, 399 (1973).
The criticism of the felony murder rule has grown stronger when applied to juveniles. See generally, Erin H. Flynn, Comment, Dismantling the Felony-Murder Rule: Juvenile Deterrence and Retribution Post- Roper v. Simmons, 156 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1049 (2008).
Why Felony Murder Applied to Juveniles is Problematic.
In Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), Justice Breyer explained in his concurring opinion that the rationale of transferred intent in the context of felony murder fails when applied to juveniles. “[I]n the context of felony-murder cases, the question of intent is a complicated one. The felony-murder doctrine traditionally attributes death caused in the course of a felony to all participants who intended to commit the felony, regardless of whether they killed or intended to kill.” Miller, 567 U.S. at 491 (Breyer, J. concurring) (internal citation omitted). “[T]his type of ‘transferred intent’ is not sufficient to satisfy the intent to murder that could subject a juvenile,” as in Miller, to a sentence of life without parole. Id. The Supreme “Court has made clear that this artificially constructed kind of intent does not count as intent for purposes of the Eighth Amendment.” Id. (Breyer, J. concurring)
Justice Breyer further explained that:
At base, the theory of transferring a defendant’s intent is premised on the idea that one engaged in a dangerous felony should understand the risk that the victim of the felony could be killed, even by a confederate…Yet the ability to consider the full consequences of a course of action and to adjust one’s conduct accordingly is precisely what we know juveniles lack capacity to do effectively.
Id. at 492 (Breyer, J., concurring) (citing majority at 470-473) (emphasis added).
Just Because 16 and 17-Year-Olds Used to Be Treated Like Adults for Murder, Doesn’t Mean they Still Should Be.
It used to be that all children who committed first-degree murder could be subject to the death penalty, just as their adult counterparts would be. Stebbing v. State, 299 Md. 331, 367 (1984). Then in 1988, the Supreme Court determined that only children 16 and 17-years-old could be sentenced to death. Thompson v. Oklahoma, 487 U.S. 815 (1988). The Supreme Court was guided by “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.” Id. at 821-822.
It took 17 more years of evolving standards of decency and scientific support before the Supreme Court would issue its monumental decision in Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005), to hold that the execution of all juveniles who were under 18 years of age at the time of their capital crimes is prohibited by the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, thereby abrogating its own prior precedent.
The Roper Court identified three general differences between juveniles and adults which “demonstrate why juvenile offenders cannot with reliability be classified among the worst offenders.” 543 U.S. at 569.
- A lack of maturity and an underdeveloped sense of responsibility are found in youth more often than in adults, and result in impetuous and ill-considered actions and decisions;
- Juveniles are more vulnerable or susceptible to negative influences and outside pressures, including peer pressure, in part because juveniles have less control, or less experience with control, over their own environment; and
- The character of a juvenile is not as well formed as that of an adult, the personality traits of juveniles are more transitory, less fixed.
Id. at 569-70.
“From a moral standpoint it would be misguided to equate the failings of a minor with those of an adult…” Id. at 570. Roper set off a domino effect of juvenile cases for sentencing purposes.
In 2010, the Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment prohibits imposition of a sentence of life without the possibility of parole on a juvenile offender who did not commit homicide. Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010). The Graham Court recognized that “developments in psychology and brain science continue to show fundamental differences between juvenile and adult minds.” 560 U.S. at 68.
In 2012, the Supreme Court held that even for a homicide offense, mandatory life imprisonment without parole for a juvenile violates the Eighth Amendment. Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012). The Miller Court determined that individualized sentencing is required for the sentencer to have the ability to consider the “mitigating qualities of youth.” Id. at 476. This is because “youth is more than a chronological fact.” Id. The Miller Court recognized that juveniles have “lessened culpability” and greater “capacity for change.” 567 U.S. at 471.
Of great import, the Miller Court recognized that though Graham distinguished nonhomicide offenses from murder, “none of what it said about children – about their distinctive (and transitory) mental traits and environmental vulnerabilities – is crime-specific. Those features are evident in the same way” in all juvenile cases. 567 U.S. at 473.
In 2016, the Supreme Court decided Montgomery v. Louisiana, 136 S. Ct. 718 (2016) holding that “Miller announced a substantive rule of Constitutional law,” which applies retroactively” and that rule “bar[red] life without parole…for all but the rarest of juvenile offenders, those whose crimes reflect permanent incorrigibility.” Id. at 734. The Court found that Miller “did more than require a sentencer to consider a juvenile offender’s youth before imposing life without parole” rather, it had to determine whether a child was of “transient immaturity” or “irreparabl[y] corrupt.” Id.
Now “we know” that juveniles are less culpable of the offense and less deserving of punishment than adults who commit the same offense. Miller, 567 U.S. at 492 (Breyer, J. concurring).
Why the Application of the Felony Murder Rule to a Juvenile’s Conduct Should be Scrutinized with Great Care.
A Juvenile Charged with Felony Murderer Has Diminished Culpability
“[W]hen compared to an adult murderer, a juvenile offender who did not kill, or intend to kill has a twice diminished moral culpability. The age of the offender and the nature of the crime each bear on the analysis.” Graham, 560 U.S. at 69.
First, a juvenile convicted of felony murder is not as culpable as a juvenile convicted of premediated murder because of this issue of artificial transferred intent that replaces the mental state. Thus, all homicides are not the same. “It is fundamental that causing harm intentionally must be punished more severely than causing the same harm unintentionally.” Enmund v. Florida, 458 U.S. 782, 797 (1982).
Second, a juvenile convicted of felony murder is not as culpable as an adult convicted of felony murder because of the juvenile’s physiological shortcomings making them as a class, less culpable than adults. Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. at 569; Graham, 560 U.S. at 68, Miller, 567 U.S. at 471; Eddings v. Oklahoma, 455 U.S. 104, 115-16 (1982).
Underlying all rationales for imposing felony murder liability is the assumption that an individual who takes part in a felony should understand, foresee, and thus reasonably assume the risk that someone might get killed during the commission of a felony. However, what is “reasonably foreseeable” to an adult is likely not “reasonably foreseeable” to a child. See J.D.B. v. North Carolina, 564 U.S. 261, 274 (2011). Juveniles lack impulse control, the ability to plan ahead, and the ability to avoid risks. This is based on the adolescent’s brain not being fully matured in the regions and systems relating to higher-order executive functions. Miller, 567 U.S. at 472, n. 5 (citing Brief for American Psychological Association et al. as Amici Curiae 4).
Hence, an adolescent is more willing to act as an accomplice in an “inherently dangerous” felony. See Miller, 567 U.S. at 471; see also Roper, 543 U.S. at 569. Holding an adolescent liable for murder because he or she should have been able to “reasonably foresee” the same risks as an adult is illogical.
Further, “juveniles are more vulnerable or susceptible to negative influences and outside pressures, including peer pressure” than adults. Roper, 543 U.S. at 569 (citing Eddings v. Oklahoma, 455 U.S. 104, 115 (1982)). Juveniles have limited “contro[l] over their own environment.” Roper, 543 U.S. at 569. As “[m]id-adolescence is marked by decreased dependency on parental influence and increased dependency on peer influence,” an adolescent’s decision to participate in a felony is more often driven by fear of ostracism than rational thinking. Alison Burton, A Commonsense Conclusion: Creating A Juvenile Carve Out to the Massachusetts Felony Murder Rule, 52 HARV. C.R.-C.L. L. REV. 169, 186-87 (2017) (internal citation omitted).
Diminished Penological Justification for Juveniles Charged with Felony Murder
The Supreme Court has determined that the “distinctive attributes” of juvenile offenders “diminish the penological justifications for imposing the harshest sentences” on juveniles. Miller, 567 U.S. at 472.
A juvenile sentenced to life imprisonment for felony murder will serve more years and a greater percentage of his life in prison than an adult offender; thus, a juvenile and an adult would receive the same punishment in name only. Graham, 560 U.S. at 70.
Transferring intent to juvenile accomplices results in a disproportionate assignment of culpability given their reduced blameworthiness and moral culpability. “[W]hen compared to an adult murderer, a juvenile offender who did not kill or intend to kill has a twice diminished moral culpability.” Graham, 560 U.S. at 69.
“Two primary justifications are given for the felony murder rule: deterrence and retribution.” Alison Burton, Note, A Commonsense Conclusion: Creating a Juvenile Carve Out to the Massachusetts Felony Murder Rule, 50 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev 169, 172 (2017). Yet, both of these justifications are unsuitable when considering juveniles.
The Miller Court recognized that “the case for retribution is not as strong with a minor as with an adult” and that deterrence does not work in the context of a juvenile because “the same characteristics that render juveniles less culpable than adults – their immaturity, recklessness, and impetuosity, make them less likely to consider potential punishment.” Id. at 472 (internal citations omitted). See also Graham, 560 U.S. at 72 (citing Roper, 543 U.S. at 571).
Maryland’s Current Charging and Sentencing Practices Give No Considerations for a 16 or 17-year-old Facing Felony Murder, Instead Treating these Juveniles as Culpable and as Deserving of Punishment, as Adults.
In Graham, the Supreme Court recognized that many states allow juveniles to be transferred to, or charged directly in, adult court, therefore, a juvenile offender may receive the same sentence as would be given to an adult, even if not as deserving of the sentence. 560 U.S. at 67.
Likewise, in Miller, the Supreme Court discussed the problem with the transfer of certain juvenile offenders to adult court, in which the adult court then sets out the penalties for any and all individuals tried there. 567 U.S. at 486. Hence it is impossible to say whether a legislature endorsed a given penalty for children (or would do so if presented with the choice). Id. Though almost all jurisdictions allow some juveniles to be tried in adult court for some kinds of homicide, most States do not have separate penalty provision for those juvenile offenders. Id.
About half of the states place at least some juvenile homicide offenders in adult court automatically, without opportunity to seek transfer to juvenile court, like in Maryland. Id. at 487. Thus, there is no statutory mechanism for judicial reevaluation. Id. at 488.
Potential Due Process Violation
For any 16 or 17-year-old charged with first-degree murder, C.J. § 3-8A-03 divests jurisdiction of the juvenile court, and Criminal Procedure Article (C.P.) § 4-202(c)(2) prohibits the juvenile from requesting a transfer back to juvenile court. The child automatically proceeds in adult court with no available recourse. Yet, a 14 or 15-year-old charged with a crime carrying a life sentence, including first-degree murder, is entitled to have the court determine whether he should be transferred to juvenile court. Similarly, a 16 or 17-year-old charged with the life imprisonment offenses of first-degree rape or first-degree child abuse resulting in death may request a transfer back to juvenile court.
Thus, it is not necessarily the length of imprisonment, or even the age of the child that is preventing a 16 or 17-year-old from the opportunity to transfer back to juvenile court, rather, it is an arbitrary line drawn in the sand, that a 16 or 17-year-old charged with first-degree murder is more culpable and less deserving of juvenile court, even if the theory of the murder is felony murder. These antiquated beliefs no longer hold true.
A legislative choice based on a categorical determination violates due process when it creates a permanent “non-rebuttable presumption that the juvenile who committed the crime is equally morally culpable as an adult who committed the same act.” See Martin Guggenheim, Grama v. Florida and A Juvenile’s Right to Age-Appropriate Sentencing, Harv.C.R.-C.LX.Rev. 457, 490-91 (2012). The Supreme Court has struck down statutes creating irrebuttable presumptions because they “have long been disfavored under the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.” Vlandis v. Kline, 412 U.S. 441, 446 (1973).
As described supra, evolving standards of decency and neurological advances in the understanding of children’s brains now recognize that a 16 or 17-year-old who commits murder is not as morally culpable as an adult.
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals (COSA) considered whether a statutory mechanism depriving a juvenile of the opportunity to seek transfer to juvenile court is constitutional in a pre-Roper/Graham/Miller world. See Miles v. State, 88 Md. App. 360 (1991). In Miles, COSA curtly found that the appellant’s due process rights were not infringed because “there is no constitutional right to be treated as a juvenile and, furthermore, appellant will be afforded the full panoply of constitutional safeguards in the ensuing trial.” Id. at 391-92 (internal citations omitted). The opinion did not focus on any empirical distinctions between 15 and 16-year-olds, but rested on the notion that “the difference in treatment is not, on its face, so irrational and invidiously discriminatory as to constitute a denial of…due process…” Id at 393. The Miles Court was operating in the same era as the Stebbing, Thompson, and Stanford courts in which arbitrary lines were being drawn between 15 and 16-year-olds, theoretically subjecting 16 or 17-year-olds to the death penalty at that time. Modern science and standards of decency now inform the courts that there is no rational distinction between 16 and 17-year-olds from that of 14 or 15-year-olds, but rather, there continues to be “significant gaps between juveniles and adults.” Miller, 567 U.S. at 471.
The argument could also be made that children have a due process right in their status as a child and their youthfulness and its attendant characteristics are to be considered as a mitigating factor at every stage of the proceedings, including whether to transfer a child to juvenile court. A child’s age should not be treated as the sole decisive factor in determining whether they are prevented from transfer. The next logical step would be to provide all children in Maryland, regardless of age alone, the opportunity to have individual consideration at a hearing before being deprived of their status as a “child.”
Potential Equal Protection Violation
While the general rule that a legislative act is entitled to the presumption of constitutionality which must be rebutted by the party attacking it, that presumption stands only in the absence of evidence that no rational basis exists for the distinction. In re Trader, 272 Md. 364, 380 (1974).
Maryland’s juvenile statutes create classes of similarly situated children charged with the same offense, as different, based solely upon their chronological age where there is no longer a rational basis for these statutory differentiations.
C.P. § 4-202 allows the court to entertain the factors for removal for a 14 or 15-year-old charged with first-degree murder, but not a 16 or 17-year-old charged with murder. Thus, it is not the case that all first-degree murder cases are excluded from juvenile court, therefore negating any argument that the legislature’s goals are rationally tied to the nature of the crime itself.
In a different, yet similar vein, if the legislature acted to preclude “older juveniles” from the protections of juvenile court when facing the most serious consequences for the most heinous offenses, this argument is belied by the legislature’s allowance of a 16 or 17-year-old charged with first-degree rape or first-degree child abuse resulting in death, both carrying the sentence of life imprisonment, to seek transfer pursuant to C.P. § 4-202. Thus, the differences in C.J. § 3-8A-03(d)(1) and C.P. § 4-202(c)(2) are not based on acts of greater consequence.
Under the holdings in Roper, Graham, and Miller, the categorical differences between all children under 18 and adults in the criminal context are well settled; therefore, no ground can be conceived to justify the distinctions drawn between older and younger children under 18.
Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals previously held in a pre-Roper/Graham/Miller world that there was no equal protection violation in this context. See Prevatte v. Director, Patuxent Institution, 5 Md. App. 406, 412 (1968). The justification by the Court was that the statutes at that time dealing with juvenile delinquents have established the public policy of the State, have not been held unconstitutional, and that all presumptions favor the constitutionality of a duly enacted statute. Id. at 411
The statutes may now contravene the federal and state constitutions because the statutes have not kept pace with Supreme Court precedent and modern science’s understanding about 16 and 17-year-olds being less culpable than adult offenders, even for the most heinous of offenses. Even children who are prosecuted as adults for very serious crimes are “categorically less culpable than the average criminal.” Roper, 543 U.S. at 567; Graham, 560 U.S. at 67-70; see also Miller, 132 S.Ct. at 2458. Therefore, “juvenile offenders cannot with reliability be classified among the worst offenders.” Roper at 569. These findings apply generally to all children under the age of 18.
Potential Cruel and Unusual Punishment Violation
In Maryland, the trial court is required to impose a life sentence in all first-degree murder cases. Hartless v. State, 241 Md. App. 77, 92 n.8 (2019); Criminal Law Article (C.L) § 2-201(b). This is true regardless of whether the offender is an adult or a juvenile, and regardless of whether the offender committed premeditated murder or felony murder. Although a sentencing court has the discretion to suspend part of a life sentence, Hartless, 247 Md. App. at 92 n. 8., a life sentence is the automatic starting point for all murder. Nothing in Maryland’s law instructs a sentencing court how to exercise its discretion when sentencing a juvenile convicted of felony murder, despite the known lessened culpability and diminished penological justifications concomitant with this type of offense by this type of offender.
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals previously decided the case of Hartless v. State, 241 Md. App. 77 (2019), holding that a juvenile defendant convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment was not entitled to an individualized sentencing process that would have taken into account the defendant’s youth and attendant circumstances. However, the juvenile in that case was convicted of premeditated murder, not felony murder. Yet, on August 29, 2019, the Court of Appeals granted certiorari in Hartless to decide: “Given the concerns that non-incorrigible juvenile offenders will be subject to disproportionate sentences, what is the scope of the individualized sentencing requirement for juveniles who have committed homicide, and did CSA err in determining that Petitioner’s life plus twenty year sentence, imposed without an individualized sentencing, was legal?”
The Hartless matter is currently being stayed pending the Supreme Court’s decision in Jones v. Mississippi, No. 18-1259, where the issue is “Whether the Eighth Amendment requires the sentencing authority to make a finding that a juvenile is permanently incorrigible before imposing a sentence of life without parole.”
Supreme Court precedent “teach[es] that in imposing a State’s harshest penalties, a sentencer misses too much if he treats every child as an adult.” Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 477 (2012). In order to be compliant with the Supreme Court directives and constitutional requirements, a sentencing court should determine whether the distinctive attributes of juvenile offenders convicted of felony murder diminish the penological justifications for imposing the harshest sentences on them before imposing an automatic sentence of life imprisonment. The Florida statute referenced, supra, would be a model starting point should the felony murder doctrine continue to be applied to juveniles in Maryland.
 See Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 707-701.
 Id. (commentary section).
 Ark. Code Ann. 5-10-102 (2017) (death must be caused under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life).
 Del. Code., Title 11, § 636 (death must be caused recklessly in the course of a felony).
 IA. Stat. §§ 707.1.; 707.2; State v. Ramirez, 616 N.W.2d 587, 592 (2000) (abrogated on other grounds) (requiring malice aforethought not merely proof of intent to commit the underlying felony).
 Ky Rev Stat, § 507.020 (death must be intentional or with wantonness with extreme indifference).
 People v. Aaron & People v. Thompson & People v. Wright, 409 Mich. 672, 299 N.W.2d 304 (1980) (malice cannot be inferred from the intent to commit the underlying felony alone).
 Commonwealth v. Brown, 477 Mass. 805 (2017) (requiring finding of actual malice, not merely constructive malice).
 N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann., §§ 630:1, 630:1-b (death must be caused knowingly).
 State v. Marquez, 376 P.3d 815, 820 (N.M 2016) (defendant must intend to kill or know his acts created a strong probability of death or great bodily harm).
 13 V.S.A. § 2301; State v. Bacon, 163 Vt. 279, 291 (1995) (requiring wanton disregard for human life with respect to the murder itself).
 Alas. Stat. § 11.41.110 (a)(3).
 Minn. Stat. Ann., §§ 609.185, 609.195 (third-degree murder with a sentence of not more than 25 years).
 N.Y. Penal Law, § 125.25 (McKinney).
 Ohio Rev Code Ann, § 2903.04 (involuntary manslaughter is the death of another proximately resulting from the offender’s commission or attempt to commit a felony).
 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann., tit. 18, § 2502 (Purdon).
 Wis Stat Ann, §§ 940.02(2), 939.50(3)(b) (Class B felony which is punishable by imprisonment not to exceed 20 years).
 English Homicide Act. 1 (1957), 5 and 6 Eliz. 2, c.11.
 Indian Penal Code §§ 299, 300 and comments (Ranchhoddas 1951).
 R. v. Martineau,  2 S.C.R. 633 (Can.).