Maine is one of only four states that has a statute specifically codifying felony murder (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 17-A, § 202), 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 Maine, prosecutors can charge and convict any person of murder without having to prove that they intended to cause another person’s death. Prosecutors must prove that a person or another participant committed another specified felony and that a death occurred “in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or immediate flight after committing or attempting to commit,” that felony.” But prosecutors must also prove that the death was a “reasonably foreseeable consequence of such commission, attempt or flight.” Maine is one of very few states, however, that does require prosecutors to prove mens rea, with regard to the death; that is, a person’s particular mental state in addition to the act itself.

In Maine, people charged with felony murder can also raise an “affirmative defense” that they weren’t the one who committed the killing, weren’t armed, and “reasonably believed” that no other participant was armed, or “intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious bodily injury. Affirmative defenses, however, are extremely difficult to prove.

A conviction for felony murder carries a sentence of 4 years minimum to 30 years maximum.

Analysis: Race

Disproportionate Representation

While Black individuals account for only 2% of Maine’s population


they make up 10% of all incarcerated people


and 22% of those incarcerated for felony murder.


In terms of gender, women make up 11.11% of felony murder convictions.

Analysis: Harsh Sentences

In total, there are 9 persons incarcerated for felony murder
in Maine (comprising 3.9% of all murder convictions).

They are sentenced to a cumulative

219 years in prison

For those not serving life sentences, the median number of years in prison they were sentenced to is 25 years.

Data Request Process

Data Request Process Grade 4.8 / 5 (A)
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 Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) data for people whose charge was listed as “felony murder (a).” These data were obtained through a public records request through the Maine Freedom of Access Act. Maine maintains a unique statute for felony murder found in Maine Criminal Code tit. 17-A, § 202.

Access the Data

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

This information is current as of February 2023.