When Rene Lima-Marin was 20 years old, he committed two gunpoint robberies that got him sentenced to 98 years in prison. In 2008, he was released on parole because of a clerical mistake, and for the next six years, he lived as a free man with his wife and children. Now, he's being sent back to jail.
Lima-Marin, who has not reoffended in his time since leaving prison, appealed the order to finish his sentence last week, alleging that it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, the Associated Press reports:
He did not reoffend and lived openly in the same community where he committed the crimes, his attorney, Patrick Megaro, noted in the filing to the Colorado Court of Appeals.
"Lima-Marin functioned as a member of society, no different than his neighbors, entirely unaware that Colorado would someday rip him from his home and family and upend a life he took years to build," Megaro wrote.
The Arapahoe County district attorney's office claims that Lima-Marin knew he was released in error and should have brought the mistake to the authorities' attention. Megaro, his attorney, argued that such an interpretation "ignores reality," which, considering the circumstances, sounds about right:
"To conclude (Lima-Marin) should have insisted that he was being wrongfully released from prison ignores reality," Megaro argued in the appeal. "No rational individual would question the motives or correctness of his jailers and insist that they remain in prison for the rest of their life."
"By putting me back in prison, you're also sentencing three people who have absolutely nothing to do with this," Lima-Marin told the AP. "I don't want them to be without a father."