|Case Name:||Rhode Island v. Innis|
|Jurisdiction:||Supreme Court of the United States|
|Rule:||Once a Defendant is in custody and invokes his right to counsel, the Police must “scrupulously honor” that invocation and cease all interrogation until a lawyer is present.
For Miranda purposes, the term “interrogation” refers to any words or action on the part of the police, other than those normally attendant on arrest and custody, that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the suspect
|Brief Analysis:||(1) The Miranda safeguards come into play whenever a person in custody is subjected either to express questioning or to its functional equivalent; (2) for Miranda purposes, the term “interrogation” refers to any words or action on the part of the police, other than those normally attendant on arrest and custody, that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the suspect; and (3) defendant was not interrogated in violation of his right to remain silent until he had consulted with a lawyer where there was no express questioning of defendant and where defendant was not subjected to the functional equivalent of questioning since it could not be said that the officers should have known that their brief conversation in his presence was reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response and there was nothing in the record to suggest that the officers knew that defendant would be susceptible to an appeal to his conscience concerning the safety of children and would respond by offering to show the officers where a shotgun was buried|
|Topic Area:||5th Amendment|
|Facts:||Shortly after a taxicab driver, who had been robbed by a man wielding a sawed-off shotgun, identified a picture of respondent as that of his assailant, a Providence, R.I., patrolman spotted respondent, who was unarmed, on the street, arrested him, and advised him of his rights. When other police officers arrived at the arrest scene, respondent was twice again advised of his Miranda rights, and he stated that he understood his rights and wanted to speak with a lawyer. Respondent was then placed in a police car to be driven to the central station in the company of three officers, who were instructed not to question respondent or intimidate him in any way. While en route to the station, two of the officers engaged in a conversation between themselves concerning the missing shotgun. One of the officers stated that there were “a lot of handicapped children running around in this area” because a school for such children was located nearby, and “God forbid one of them might find a weapon with shells and they might hurt themselves.” Respondent interrupted the conversation, stating that the officers should turn the car around so he could show them where the gun was located. Upon returning to the scene of the arrest where a search for the shotgun was in progress, respondent was again advised of his Miranda rights, replied that he understood those rights but that he “wanted to get the gun out of the way because of the kids in the area in the school,” and then led the police to the shotgun.|
|Court(s) Below:||Defendant’s offer to show police officers was introduced to convict him of Murder, kidnapping, and burglary in Rhode Island state court. The Rhode Island Supreme Court set aside Defendant’s conviction because he was interrogated after he had invoked his right to counsel. The Supreme Court overturned the RI Supreme Court.|
|Rule:||Once warnings have been given, the subsequent procedure is clear. . . . If the individual states that he wants an attorney, the interrogation must cease until an attorney is present. At that time, the individual must have an opportunity to confer with the attorney and to have him present during any subsequent questioning. If the individual cannot obtain an attorney and he indicates that he wants one before speaking to police, they must respect his decision to remain silent.”|
|Analysis:||In its Miranda opinion, the Court concluded that in the context of “custodial interrogation” certain procedural safeguards are necessary to protect a defendant’s Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment privilege against compulsory self-incrimination. More specifically, the Court held that “the prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from custodial interrogation of the defendant unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination.” Once the Defendant has invoked his right to counsel, police must scrupulously honor that invocation. This means that the police cannot initiate interrogation until the Defendant’s attorney is present. The starting point for defining “interrogation, the Miranda court explained: “[b]y custodial interrogation, we mean questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way.” “Confessions remain a proper element in law enforcement. Any statement given freely and voluntarily without *300 any compelling influences is, of course, admissible in evidence. The fundamental import of the privilege while an individual is in custody is not whether he is allowed to talk to the police without the benefit of warnings and counsel, but whether he can be interrogated. . . . Volunteered statements of any kind are not barred by the Fifth Amendment. for Miranda purposes, the term “interrogation” refers to any words or action on the part of the police, other than those normally attendant on arrest and custody, that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the suspect. The respondent was not “interrogated” within the meaning of Miranda. It is undisputed that the first prong of the definition of “interrogation” was not satisfied, for the conversation between Patrolmen Gleckman and McKenna included no express questioning of the respondent. Rather, that conversation was, at least in form, nothing more than a dialogue between the two officers to which no response from the respondent was invited.|
|Concurrence:||C.J. Burger – The result is not inconsistent with Miranda, but the additional analysis may cause confusion for police officers in obtaining lawful confessions.
White¨- For the reasons stated in his dissenting opinion in Brewer
|Dissent:||Marhsall – Marshall agrees with the definition of “interrogation, but fails to see how this was not designed to elicit incriminating evidence. Because the police had only driven for 1 mile at 4:30 am before Defendant “offered” to show them where the gun was, the police must have immediately began discussing the gun. There is no other interpretation of why they had that discussion in Defendant’s presence.|