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Felony murder has never been a static, well-defined rule at common law, but throughout its history has been characterized by judicial reinterpretation to limit the harshness of the application of the rule. Some, dead set against the rule, historians and commentators have concluded that the rule is of questionable origin and that the reasons for the rule no longer exist, making it an anachronistic remnant, 'a historic survivor for which there is no logical or practical basis for existence in modern law'. Moreland, Kentucky Homicide Law With Recommendations, 51 Ky L J 59, 82 (1962).


The first formal statement of the doctrine is often said to be Lord Dacres' case, Moore 86; 72 Eng Rep 458 (KB, 1535). See, e.g., Crum, Causal Relations and the Felony-Murder Rule, 1952 Wash U L Quarterly 191; Morris, The Felon's Responsibility for the Lethal Acts of Others, 105 U of Pa L Rev 50, 58 (1956). Note, Recent Extensions of Felony Murder Rule, 31 Ind L J 534, fn 3 (1956). Lord Dacres and some companions agreed to enter a park without permission to hunt, an unlawful act, and to kill anyone who might resist them. 'Le Seignor Dacres & auters ...

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