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Rhode Island v. Innis

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 446 U.S. 291, 100 S. Ct. 1682, 64 L. Ed. 2d 297, 1980 U.S.

Brief Fact Summary. The respondent, Thomas Innis (the “respondent”), was arrested, read his Miranda rights, and put into the backseat of a patrol car. The police discussed that the gun used for the crime might be found by a child, and the respondent disclosed the location of the weapon to avoid an accident.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. An interrogation, for Fifth Amendment constitutional purposes, should be defined to include only words or conduct that the police should have known would reasonably influence an individual to respond.

Facts. The respondent was arrested for a robbery of a cab driver that led to the murder of the driver. The driver was shot in the head with a shotgun, but the weapon was not found with the respondent at the time of the arrest. The respondent was placed in the back seat of the patrol car, and he rode back with three officers. The officers, one sitting in the back seat with the respondent, remarked what a tragedy it would be if a child were to stumble upon the weapon before they found it. The discussion moved the respondent enough to disclose the location of the weapon in order to avoid an accident.

Issue. The issue is whether the conversation between the officers in front of the respondent constituted an interrogation as defined in Miranda v. Arizona?

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