Understanding Illinois’ Felony Murder Rule
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Understanding Illinois’ Felony Murder Rule

Imagine this scenario: you attempt to commit a felony with a group of people. In the commission of this felony, someone in your group is shot and killed by another person. Because of your involvement in the initial felony, you are charged with their murder.
 
Huh? How is that possible? Should you be charged with killing someone when you didn’t do the actual killing?
 
This question is at the heart of Illinois’ controversial felony murder rule. Under this law, a suspect can face murder charges if another person dies while committing certain felonies.
 
But what does this really mean? How has the law been used? Glad you asked.…

What Qualifies as a Homicide in Illinois?
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What Qualifies as a Homicide in Illinois?

Homicide is a blanket term that refers to any killing of another human being – not just those that are considered illegal. In very specific circumstances, one person can kill another without committing a crime.
 
Under Illinois laws, you may use deadly force in self-defense, but only if there is reasonable to believe it’s  absolutely necessary “to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm” to yourself or another person. You may also use deadly force to prevent “an assault upon, or offer of personal violence to” yourself or someone else if another breaks into your dwelling. And deadly force is permitted to prevent the intruder from committing a felony within your home.…