DataRhode Island  

Inadequate Data

to perform any analysis.

Data Request Process Grade 3.0 / 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

  • 21

    days to respond to our FOIA request

  • 45

    cost to request information

Rhode Island took 21 days to respond to our FOIA request with an Excel workbook of people currently incarcerated, but not specific to those convicted and sentenced for felony murder and charged us $45 for it.

Rhode Island’s statutes are not specific for felony murder. As in most other states, Rhode Island 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 statutes, making it impossible based on the data provided alone to distinguish and identify who is incarcerated for felony murder specifically.

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

In Rhode Island, felony murder is defined in the first degree (11 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 11-23-1) and second degree murder statutes (11 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 11-23-1).

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 committed or attempted to commit another felony (specific felonies for first degree murder and “[a]ny other felony” for second degree murder) and that a death occurred. Prosecutors can prove murder even when the death was caused by a third non-party (i.e. neither the person nor any accomplice).

A conviction for felony murder carries a sentence of life or life without parole (for first degree murder) and a minimum of 10 years and maximum of life for second degree murder.

Access the Data

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