While I was reading Wikipedia article(Felony murder rule),I came across a phrase 'to qualify as an underlying offense for a felony murder'.I tried to get the essence of the phrase from the context of article, where I consider this phrase as sort of "for an underlying offence to be qualified as felony of murder",but I'm not sure about my consideration.

The Paragraph

In most jurisdictions, to qualify as an underlying offense for a felony murder charge, the underlying offense must present a foreseeable danger to life, and the link between the offense and the death must not be too remote.

My Question

  1. what is the actual meaning of phrase?

    2.Is phrase"to qualify as an underlying offense for a felony murder equivalent to "for an underlying offence to be qualified as felony of murder"?


For an action resulting in death to rise to a "felony murder" charge, the resulting death must have been foreseeable; and death must have been a rather likely result not merely a possible result.

If I throw a butcher's cleaver at you and you die because it cuts an artery, then that act could easily be charged with felony murder. It's easy to foresee that it could result in death, and the chances of severe injury or death are not at all remote but are highly probable.

If I throw a blackboard eraser at you, and you somehow fall out of the window when trying to jump out of the way of the eraser so that white chalk dust would not get on your dark suit, the action would not qualify for felony murder, since death was not foreseeable, and even if the district attorney argues that we were in a high-rise building without bars on the windows, the possibility that you would fall out the window is very remote.

P.S. qualify exists as both an intransitive verb (to meet requirements) and as a transitive verb (to cause something to meet requirements).


If the team wins this match, they qualify for the quarter-finals.


This victory qualifies the team for the quarter-finals.

The past participle of transitive qualify ('qualified', which is indistinguishable from the simple past) can be used adjectivally, as a subject complement following a copula. Thus, intransitive "to qualify" means "to meet requirements" and the predicate adjective "BE qualified" means "to be in the state of having met requirements (by virtue of some fact)".

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  • can I write the above phrase as"for an underlying offence to be qualified as felony of murder"? – confused guy Nov 23 '17 at 19:43
  • It is the difference between manslaughter and murder / homicide. The latter involves an offence, such as throwing a knife, or strangling, which may not cause death, but if it does, that is the difference with an accidental action which causes death. It is a interesting question, which shows that murder need not be pre-meditated. – Weather Vane Nov 23 '17 at 19:47
  • The verb qualify there is intransitive. The offense qualifies as felony murder. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 24 '17 at 1:39
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    The nuanced difference between "qualifies for" and "is qualified for" is merely a linguistic one which will make no difference legally, just as the team will play in the quarter-finals in either case: "Having won today, the team qualifies for the quarter-finals" versus "Today's victory qualifies the team for the quarter-finals". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 24 '17 at 11:30
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    and With today's victory, the team is qualified for the quarter-finals – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 24 '17 at 12:23

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