In August of 2019, six teenagers drove to a rural area of Lake County, Illinois, in a stolen vehicle with the intention of burglarizing vehicles. Startled, the homeowner retrieved his gun, went out on the porch, and observed one of the teens approaching him, with what the homeowner determined to be a weapon. The homeowner fired his gun and killed one of the teens. The remaining five teens were charged with felony murder. At the time of this incident, Illinois applied the “proximate-cause theory” to felony murder. In response, the General Assembly amended the felony-murder rule with the intent to create an “agency theory.” However, the current version does not make this clear. It is possible that the proximate-cause theory would still apply and remain the most logical application of the law. Regardless, rather than attempting to abolish the proximate-cause theory, public concerns could have been addressed through amended sentencing provisions.
Northern Illinois University Law Review
Cieslik, Jason M.
"A New Approach to Felony Murder in Illinois,"
Northern Illinois University Law Review: Vol. 42:
2, Article 4.
Jason M. Cieslik, A New Approach to Felony Murder in Illinois, 42 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 243 (2022).