Colorado man to be freed early now in immigration custody

Rene Lima Marin sits for an interview with The Associated Press about the circumstances of his sentencing and incarceration in a meeting room inside Kit Carson Correctional Center a privately operated prison in Burlington
Man Mistakenly Released From Prison Lived Upstanding Life, Now Gets Released For Real

20 May, 2017

On Tuesday, a judge ordered the release of Lima-Marin, who had returned to prison three years ago after he was mistakenly released decades early from a almost 100-year sentence.

"In effect, after its utter lack of care led to Lima-Marin's premature release and prolonged erroneous liberty, in January 2014 the government made a decision to compensate for its transgressions by swiftly turning back the clock and returning Lima-Marin to prison - not through the use of a magic wand or the invention of a time machine built out of a DeLorean, which might have transported him back to his life in April 2008, but through the simple issuance of an arrest warrant, which merely put him back in prison, disregarding everything that had transpired between April 2008 and January 2014", said Samour. But Immigration and Customs Enforcement can request that an inmate suspected of an immigration violation be held after their release from jail or prison under a form referred to as a hold or a detainer. However - seeing that Lima-Martin had become a productive member of society - a judge granted him his freedom once again.

Lima-Marin was convicted in 1998 for his role in two armed robberies and sentenced to 98 years in prison. He was mistakenly released. He voluntarily left his family and turned himself over to the police.

But due to a paperwork error, Lima-Martin was released in 2008 and it wasn't until 2014 that officials realized their mistake. Samour said that Lima-Marin had not known about the clerical error when he was released and asked, "Without the ability to turn back the clock, how does the court dispense justice under such circumstances?"

"Although most of Lima-Marin's sentence remains unserved, he has sufficiently paid his debt to society", the judge wrote. "Accordingly, the government is deemed to have waived its jurisdiction to compel him to serve the remainder of his sentence".

Today, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper said that while he could imagine the emotional roller coaster the Lima-Marin family has endured, prison officials were just doing their job.

"It was a really, really fast call".

In a 2014 interview, you can hear the toll this has all taken on Lima and his family.

Lima-Marin was being held at the Fremont Correctional Facility in Canon City, Colorado. The detainer was later confirmed, according to a statement from the Colorado Department of Corrections obtained by the Denver Post.

"We're just still waiting and trying to figure out what's going on and how to fight, " Jasmine told the Denver Post.

Lima-Marin was brought to the U.S. when he was two years old by his parents, who fled from Cuba during the 1980 Mariel boatlift, according to the Denver Post.

When his parents arrived, they both applied for citizenship, but they never went through the process for their son.

An attorney met with Lima-Marin and, based on the content of the paperwork, told him that his sentence had been reduced to 16 years.

Diego added that she was scrambling to find him an immigration attorney.

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