DataNorth Dakota  

Inadequate Data

to perform any analysis.

Data Request Process Grade 3.2 / 5 (C)
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

  • 20

    days to respond to our FOIA request.

North Dakota took 20 days to respond to our FOIA request with an Excel spreadsheet that did not provide DOCR#, name, DOB or county as per NDCC 12-47-36(4).

North Dakota’s statutes, additionally, are not specific for felony murder. Although we attempted to use publicly available web portals to identify individuals incarcerated under felony murder, as in most other states, North Dakota 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 within its other murder statute and the publicly available conviction and sentence information did not distinguish felony murder from other murder convictions.

We appealed the FOIA results and asked for more specific data related to felony murder, but North Dakota did not send over anything specific to felony murder.

In North Dakota, felony murder is defined in the general murder statute (N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 12.1-16-01).

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 or attempted to commit a specified felony and that a death occurred “in the course of and in furtherance of such crime or of immediate flight therefrom.”

People charged with felony murder in North Dakota can raise an “affirmative defense” that they weren’t the one who committed or aided in the commission of the homicide, 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 maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

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