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emfizz.com July 26, 2017


Inmate who lived upstanding life after he was mistakenly freed wins release

20 May 2017, 12:15 | Anna Nguyen

The judge called Lima-Marin a "model prisoner" and said the government acted with "conscience-shocking" indifference when they put him back in prison in 2014.

The future appeared bright for an inmate mistakenly released from prison in 2008 when a Colorado judge ruled Tuesday that he won't have to serve the final 90 years of his sentence for participating in the two video store robberies. He remains in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials "pending his removal to Cuba" - though deportation isn't necessarily a sure thing.

Cuba agrees to consider taking back Cubans slated for deportation from the US on a case-by-case basis. If Cuba refuses to accept him, he could be allowed to remain in the United States with orders to check in regularly with immigration officials.

Lima-Marin, who came to the USA from Cuba with his parents when he was a toddler during the 1980 Mariel boat lift, was convicted in 2000 of multiple robbery, kidnapping and burglary counts after he and another man robbed two video stores at gunpoint. He was mistakenly released in 2008, then held a steady job, got married and had a son.

His wife, Jasmine, said Lima-Marin checked in with immigration officials every few months after he was mistakenly released from prison in 2008 but deportation was not a concern then.

He was rearrested in 2014, when authorities realized they had made a mistake.

A judge on Tuesday ordered Lima-Marin's release, saying it would be "draconian" to keep him in prison and that he had paid his debt to society.

Throughout Colorado, the DOC has around 1,050 immigrant inmates that have ICE detainers, costing the prison system "approximately $37 million a year", according to a March report in Westword.

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Rene Lima-Marin leaves Cuba as a toddler with his parents in what would become known as the Mariel boat lift after Fidel Castro announced the country would stop trying to prevent unauthorized departures.

"It would be utterly unjust to compel Lima-Marin, at this juncture, to serve the rest of his extremely long sentence", he wrote.

"It's all policy, memorandum and agreement", said John Gihon, an immigration lawyer who was attorney adviser for ICE.

Rosenthal, D-Denver, and Williams, R-Colorado Springs, were part of the recent bipartisan effort in both legislative chambers that unanimously passed resolutions urging the governor to grant clemency to Lima-Marin. "The family has shown wonderful strength and we hope this is a temporary stop on his way to being reunited with his family". However, a mix-up in paperwork said that Lima-Marin's sentences were to be served concurrently, meaning that he could serve all of his sentences at the same time.

Jasmine Lima-Marin had decorated her home with balloons and said she was on standby to drive to the prison where he was incarcerated to pick him up. About 600 are in custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to statistics by the agency.

"Everyone is completely devastated".

Lima-Marin's attorney Kimberly Diego says Lima-Marin came to the USA from Cuba at the age of 2 during the 1980 Mariel boatlift.



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