If a criminal imposes a risk of death upon a victim, even accidental death, I have no problem calling a fatal outcome murder.
But if an accomplice dies, saying the fellow criminals murdered him feels like a stretch.
According to my reading on the subject, this law originates from British Common Law. 30 States in America have it - others never adopted it and 3 (I think, Michigan, Hawaii and one other, I forget) have abolished it - because it doesn't always necessarily mete out appropriate justice).
The kid in Florida who was hung over and loaned his car to guys who went and burgled a drug dealer and killed her daughter with the butt of a shotgun they found on the scene) - got LWOP - because he admitted to cops the guys he loaned the car to mentioned a burglary they were going to commit and that they'd hurt the daughter if she got in the way. Both the DA and the father of the girl agree that BUT FOR HIM LOANING THE CAR - the homicide would not have occurred. What about the mother selling reefer out of a safe where a pound was found? She did time for the reefer, but not the homicide. The kid was 20 years old - and if he'd just been smart enough to say LAWYER he would not have gotten LWOP. That doesn't seem like justice to me, he thought the guys were joking about the burglary and only knew them, the longest was one month of the three guys.
As to your issue about the accomplice, however, I think the theory there is that if you go on a 'crime endeavor' in which even your accomplice gets killed... you're better off put away for the safety of the rest of us - because you could do it again and next time it might be your victim who gets killed.
It's a controversial law, no question. I think it is prone to overzealous prosecution and potentially draconian justice. There is another case where a girl was in the back of a police car for some 15 minutes before the murder took place, but because she was involved in the predicate felony she got the felony murder rule slapped on her, too - and it's FIRST DEGREE MURDER, it's not second degree or manslaughter - the FELONY automatically enhances it to First Degree (not Capital murder - each state is different and I don't claim to understand it thoroughly even in one state, let alone all 30).
Many have called for it's abolition. Many others feel that it's necessary. One woman said her 16 year old daughter was murdered in Florida by 'two youths' both of whom claimed the other did it. Under the Felony Murder Rule (which I thought I read Florida DOES NOT have - they have something akin to it - which is where the car loaning kid got clipped) they BOTH got life sentences, whereas otherwise she said 'they both would have walked' - because under that law it didn't matter which one DID IT - they were both there in the commission of a felony, so they both get to kiss the baby. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't - it's up to the discretion of prosecutors, really - which is scary to me. Once the Jury gets the case they are bound by law and the Judge is pretty much, in most cases I've read, bound by sentencing guidelines.
Once again, don't commit felonies, especially with others when something 'unplanned but not unforseeable' may occur. You're betting your freedom for life in 30 states.
Not that I have any sympathy for the intruder who is now charged with murder but I've never understood the rational behind that law either. Examples such as the one RA provided with the teens is the reason why it just makes no sense to me. Murder is murder and burglary is burglary.
that case about the car is really scary, i mean if you let somebody borrow your ipad and they used it to kill somebody you could be facing murder charges?