Prosecutors in Minnesota and Georgia are deploying a controversial criminal statute in their effort to punish the alleged murderers of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks and Ahmaud Arbery.

The white police officers and others charged in the deaths of the three Black men are accused of felony murder, among other charges. The felony-murder rule is based on a legal doctrine hundreds of years old that allows a defendant to be charged with murder for causing death while committing particular felonies.

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