Lima-Marin will likely remain behind bars at an Aurora immigration detention facility as a judge reconsiders the case and could still be deported
The governor may exercise his discretion to pardon whomever he wants for whatever reasons he deems best, but only as the law permits. The law has requirements. The governor failed to meet those requirements
A week after a judge and the governor ordered him released, Lima-Marin is being held in an immigration detention facility on a detainer from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who say he must be deported to his native Cuba
Time after time, the Lima-Marin case has given Colorado and the country opportunities to shine. We’ve failed and triumphed in this man’s life, which is so very much the same as the lives of millions like him across America
“This was a question of justice,” Gov. John Hickenlooper told an afternoon news conference, noting that 98 of the 100 members of the state Assembly had backed a motion calling for Rene Lima-Marin’s pardon. “This was a pretty clear example of someone who’s done all the work necessary to earn a second chance.”
In a dramatic 165-page ruling that was heavy on criticism for state officials, Arapahoe County Chief District Judge Carlos Samour said releasing Rene Lima-Marin from prison was the only appropriate response to a complicated and “thorny” case.
This isn’t a driver license application or a request for tax enterprise zone fees or anything close to usual. It’s a man’s life and the life of his family subjected to justice more typically doled out in Iran or China. It’s only a lame excuse that this has taken so long, and not a very good one. The Constitution empowers Hickenlooper to end Lima-Marin’s sentence now
So a man who’d done something heinously wrong, and then did something astonishingly right, now sits in prison, at a cost of about $34,000 a year to taxpayers
The state’s Supreme Court dismissed the case Thursday. The judges said the case was improperly filed, and Rene Lima-Marin should ask a lower court to consider whether he should be released.
“That was his life, raising his kids and being a husband,” Jasmine said. “He definitely was not the same person that he was when he went in to prison.”