Inadequate Data

to perform any analysis.

Data Request Process Grade 1.2 / 5 (F)
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.

Data Status

  • $608

    Requesting data from Kansas via the FOIA process was prohibitively expensive.

We received an initial response to our information request from Kansas in February 2023, asking “[w]hat timeline we wanted this information for.” After we responded with the requested information, the Kansas Department of Corrections failed to provide any additional clarity for nearly three months. At that time, they informed us that their research team was short four employees and estimated that, given that, the request was “several months out from being fulfilled.” The DOC also provided us with a prohibitively expensive quote for the request at $608.

We attempted to use publicly available web portals to identify individuals incarcerated under felony murder, and tried to ask the DOC clarifying questions as we conducted our own independent research. As in most other states, Kansas does not have a statute specifically codifying felony murder, which would make it easier to identify and isolate felony murder conviction data. Instead, as in most other states, felony murder is defined with its other murder statute and the publicly available conviction and sentence information did not distinguish felony murder from other murder convictions.

Ultimately, nearly five months from the date of Kansas’s initial response to our request for information, we were provided with roster data of all those sentenced under the First Degree Murder statute without any information specific to felony murder. When we asked whether the DOC keeps track of felony murder specific charges/sentences, we received no response.

In Kansas, felony murder is defined in the first degree murder statute (Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-5402).

Prosecutors can charge and convict any person of first degree murder without having to prove that they intended to cause another person’s death. Prosecutors must only prove that a person or their accomplice committed an “inherently dangerous” or another specified felony and a death occurred.

A conviction for felony murder carries a sentence of life with parole eligibility only after 25 years.

Access the Data

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