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Case Basics
Docket No. 
Rhode Island
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
Location: Police Car
Facts of the Case 

After a picture identification by the victim of a robbery, Thomas J. Innis was arrested by police in Providence, Rhode Island. Innis was unarmed when arrested. Innis was advised of his Miranda rights and subsequently requested to speak with a lawyer. While escorting Innis to the station in a police car, three officers began discussing the shotgun involved in the robbery. One of the officers commented that there was a school for handicapped children in the area and that if one of the students found the weapon he might injure himself. Innis then interrupted and told the officers to turn the car around so he could show them where the gun was located.


Did the police "interrogation" en route to the station violate Innis's Miranda rights?

Decision: 6 votes for Rhode Island, 3 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Miranda Warnings

No. In a 6-to-3 decision, the Court held that the Miranda safeguards came into play "whenever a person in custody is subjected to either express questioning or its functional equivalent," noting that the term "interrogation" under Miranda included "any words or actions on the part of the police (other than those normally attendant to arrest and custody) that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the subject." The Court then found that the officers' conversation did not qualify as words or actions that they should have known were reasonably likely to elicit such a response from Innis.

Cite this Page
RHODE ISLAND v. INNIS. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 30 August 2015. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1979/1979_78_1076>.
RHODE ISLAND v. INNIS, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1979/1979_78_1076 (last visited August 30, 2015).
"RHODE ISLAND v. INNIS," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 30, 2015, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1979/1979_78_1076.