Confusing the Fifth Amendment with the Sixth: Lower Court Misapplication of the Innis Definition of Interrogation

This Note examines how these courts have applied or misapplied Innis, and concludes that, while many of these decisions are consistent with Miranda and Innis, too many others are not. In order to evaluate these cases, it is first necessary to understand the meaning and significance of Innis. Part I thus considers Innis and its background. Part II then examines lower court decisions applying the Innis test, dividing these decisions into six groups based on the most common factual scenarios. Because the cases deal with factually specific police practices, this method constitutes the most useful way to analyze the impact of the Innis definition of interrogation. Part III proposes a reading of the Innis test that avoids the difficulties encountered by lower courts and that is consistent with the dictates of Miranda and Innis. The Note concludes by considering how lower courts applying Innis have confused fifth and sixth amendment methods of analysis.