Free Lawrence DeLisle! He lost his 4 children due to an accident & is falsely in prison.
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On August 3rd,1989, Larry and his wife Sue drove their 4 children, Bryan (8), Melissa (4), Katie (2), and Emily (8mos) to price new beds for two of their daughters. It was a long hot day, so the DeLisle family stopped to treat everyone with ice cream. There, Melissa asked if they could go to the river to look at boats- as they did the night before. Both parents smiled and agreed. However, after driving a different route, they found themselves disappointingly on the same dead end street as the other night. Unfortunately, no boats passed by this night, and Emily was teething. They turned to head home, when Sue asked Larry to stop at the corner store, so she could buy something to soothe Emily’s gums. Exhausted and dehydrated, Larry's leg's had been cramping up throughout the day. Upon leaving, he inadvertently turns left as his foot hits the accelerator. Panic sets in as Larry steers with his left hand while removing his cramped leg with his right, but the car never slowed. Was it his shoes (which were off at the time) or mechanical issues (which his late model station wagon has been known to have)? In an attempt to assist her husband, Sue grabbed the wheel and pulls opposite Larry. This unintentionally adds to the panic and uncertainty and in seconds their car hits the curb and is airborne heading into the Detroit River. Larry and Sue struggle to tread water in the rapidly moving river, but are eventually rescued. They cannot see their car or children due to the conditions inside the river. Sadly, all four of their children drowned.
After this horrible accident, the media hounded the DeLisle parents for an interview, which they then reluctantly agreed to hold. Meanwhile, the detective on the case didn’t like Larry's answer that something "stuck.” One week after losing their children, they agreed to take a lie detector test. Police pick Larry & Sue up around 7am, and take them in separate cars to the police station. That day would drag on until around 1am (18hrs) the next morning. The small town he lived in (Downriver), and the media attacked the family--saying they appeared numb and are not crying in front of them-that he must have killed his family.
These so-called confessions would later be ruled by the judge as: "a ruse by police to conduct a lengthy and brutal interrogation with the intent to coerce- involuntary, hypnotically induced statements that are unreliable and therefore inadmissible in court!" In the end, Larry is re-traumatized by police. The media firestorm that followed was far from the truth. In an unheard of legal maneuver, another judge provided the media access to these suppressed tapes--increasing prejudice in the same court where Larry would subsequently be tried 4 months later. The Michigan Courts violated their constitutional duty under the Sixth & Fourteenth Amendments, by releasing suppressed confessions/inadmissible evidence to the press making these constitutional requirements as hollow a formality as the DeLisle trial itself!
As a parent, we would "ALL" assume responsibility, guilt for such a horrific, tragic accident. Wouldn't we? In the interrogation video, it is clear that Larry is in a hypnotic state, and with only a 10th grade education at the time, was no match for detective Palmatier's subtle, psychological exhausting and trying techniques. The New York Times would later have likely deemed what followed as "guilt by accusation." The car's accelerator was proven--beyond a reasonable doubt—to ‘stick,’ as it even did for police during one of their tests!
Larry has now spent 30 years behind bars fighting and wrongfully serving 5 natural life sentences without the possibility of parole for this tragic accident. A founding member of the Innocence Project is assisting him in his quest to right this wrong, but he needs your help! By the judge’s own admission(s) at sentencing, even he did not think Larry was guilty of the crimes and questioned his decision not to change venue.
As a parent myself, I think a lot of us ask. Why didn’t they [Larry & Sue] save the children? After asking them this question, they stated that the car had rolled under, the current was moving rapidly, neither could swim, the water was dark and murky, and they couldn’t see where the car was. When they came up for air within seconds of one another, Larry heard her cry out and was hopeful the kids were OK, but then Sue screamed, “Save my babies!” Sadly, it was too late. There are also questions about being ‘deeply in’ debt. Their debt would’ve been paid off by the following July.
Even IF you believe he is guilty, do you believe in a defendant’s right to a fair trial? Do you believe that the media should control a person’s right to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law? Guilt by accusation, by association cannot become the norm. 2 Michigan Chief Justices from the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit did NOT believe he received a fair trial. The US Supreme Court refused to hear his case.
Larry has lost everything. Please help support Larry, as we call out to all advocates against injustice worldwide.
1. Please sign our petition!!
2. Watch Netflix's "Confession Tapes (Season One finale): Episode 7 (Down River).”
3. Write to Michigan's Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
4. Write to Larry via mail (MDOC #210762) or JPay.com if you have any questions.
The justice system has failed the DeLisle family. Enough is enough.
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