Rhode Island v. Innis

446 U.S. 291 (1980)


Police received a telephone call from a taxicab driver, who had just been robbed by a man wielding a sawed-off shotgun. The driver had dropped off his assailant near Rhode Island College. While at the police station waiting to give a statement, the driver noticed a picture of his assailant on a bulletin board. The officer prepared a photo array, and again the driver identified a picture of the same person. That person was Innis (D). A patrol car, spotted D standing in the street. D was arrested and advised of his Miranda rights. The Patrolman did not converse with D other than to respond to the latter's request for a cigarette. A Sergeant arrived at the scene and gave D Miranda warnings. A Captain arrived and advised D of his Miranda rights. D said he wanted to speak with a lawyer. D was placed in a caged wagon to be driven to the central police station. Three officers were assigned. They placed D in the vehicle and shut the doors. The Captain then instructed the officers not to question D or intimidate or coerce him in any way. The three officers then entered the vehicle, and it departed. While en route to the central station, the officers initiated a conversation between themselves concerning the missing shotgun. They were concerned for the safety of children at a handicapped school. D interrupted the conversation, stating that the officers should turn the car around so he could show them where the gun was located. The Captain was informed that D would inform them of the location of the gun. The return trip was no more than a mile. The Captain again advised the D of his Miranda rights. D 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.' D pointed out the shotgun under some rocks by the side of the road. D was charged with the kidnapping, robbery, and murder of John Mulvaney. D moved to suppress the shotgun and the statements. The judge refused in that D had been 'repeatedly and completely advised of his Miranda rights.' The court did not pass on whether the police officers had in fact 'interrogated' D but sustained the admissibility of the shotgun and testimony related to its discovery. The Rhode Island Supreme Court set aside D's conviction. It held that the police officers in the vehicle had 'interrogated' D without a valid waiver of his right to counsel. The Supreme granted certiorari to address for the first time the meaning of 'interrogation.'