Felony murder is murder committed during the attempt or commission of a Felony.
Wisconsin Felony Murder Rule
Under common law, the Felony murder rule doctrine provides that a murder committed during the commission or the attempt of another Felony is subject to the most severe penalties. Some states have applied the Felony murder rule to any Felony, while other states have applied it to only certain dangerous Felony crimes.
Wisconsin uses the dangerous Felony application of the Felony murder rule, which provides that the Felony must have been a dangerous Felony or a Felony committed in a dangerous manner in order for the Felony murder rule to apply. Dangerous felonies included those crimes which cause grave or serious bodily injury or have the propensity to cause such harm, and felonies committed in a dangerous manner including any Felony committed or attempted with the use of a dangerous weapon. A dangerous weapon is a gun or any other article that can be used to cause serious bodily harm or death even if the article is not usually used to cause such harm.
Under Wisconsin law, the Felony murder rule applies to any murder committed during the commission or attempt of a dangerous Felony crime. The dangerous Felony crimes enumerated by Wisconsin Statute 940.03 are: Battery, Sexual Assault, Kidnapping, Arson, Burglary, Auto Theft by Force, or any crime committed with explosives, by arson, or by the use of a dangerous weapon.
Homicide Penalty Enhancements
If a person is convicted of Felony murder, the penalty imposed will include a penalty enhancement which is an additional 15 years potential imprisonment added to the maximum term of imprisonment.
The purpose of the Felony murder rule is to provide a statutory means of imposing additional more severe penalties upon a person who commits a homicide during the commission or attempt of a dangerous Felony .