Connecticut is one of only four states that has a statute specifically codifying felony murder (Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-54d), which made it easier to identify felony murder conviction data. In most other states, felony murder is written as subsections of other murder and homicide statutes.

In Connecticut, prosecutors can charge and convict any person of murder without having to prove that they intended to cause another person’s death. Prosecutors must only prove that a person or an accomplice committed another specified felony and that a death occurred “in the course of and in furtherance of the offense or immediate flight from the offense.” People charged with felony murder can raise an “affirmative defense” that they weren’t the one who committed the killing, weren’t armed, and had “no reasonable ground to believe” the other participant was armed or “intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious injury.” Affirmative defenses, however, are extremely difficult to prove.

A conviction for felony murder in Connecticut carries a sentence of 25 years to life unless the underlying charge is arson, which carries a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

Analysis: Race

Race and Conviction Rate

In Connecticut, you are 21.1792 times more likely to be incarcerated for felony murder if you are Black than if you are white.

Black 21.1792x

Disproportionate Representation

While Black individuals account for only 12% of Connecticut’s population


they make up 41% of all incarcerated people


and 60% of those incarcerated for felony murder.


In terms of gender, women make up 3.7% of felony murder convictions.

Analysis: Harsh Sentences

In total, there are at least 189 persons incarcerated for felony murder in Connecticut (comprising 20.48% of all murder convictions). Of these individuals, 7 are sentenced to life in prison.

The remaining 182 persons are sentenced to a cumulative

8,684 years in prison

For those not serving life sentences,* the median number of years in prison they were sentenced to is 45 years.

*Note: Because “non-life” sentences in Connecticut are 25 years to 60 years, and the median age of those sentenced under felony murder is 22 years of age, even those sentenced to a “term of years” may be up to 82 years old by the time of release.

Analysis: Youthful Impact

Young people in Connecticut are disproportionately impacted by the felony murder rule.

  • 27

    Median age at offense for all crimes

  • 22

    Median age at offense for felony murder

  • 15

    Persons incarcerated for felony murder in Connecticut that were younger than 18* at time of their offense.

    *Of these young persons, 66.67% of them are Black.

Data Request Process

Data Request Process Grade 3.6 / 5 (B)
Factors Supporting Grade
Request Responsiveness
Financial Accessibility
No Residency Required
Appeal Responsiveness

*These factors track the process--i.e. the effort and obstacles--for obtaining data from individual states under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and appeals process. These factors do not measure the quality of the data; only the process of attempting to obtain the data.

How We Collected Our Data

We created our dataset by examining Connecticut Department of Corrections (ADOC) data for people whose charge was listed as “felony murder af.” These data were obtained through public records request through the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act (at a steep cost of $106). Connecticut maintains a unique statute for felony murder found in Connecticut General Statute 53A-54C.

Access the Data

Learn more about how you can contribute to transparency when it comes to felony murder.

This analysis encompasses those convicted of felony murder as of March 2023.