Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Man freed from prison faces possible deportation to Cuba

Freda Brock | 20 May, 2017, 00:15

Lima-Marin was sent back to prison.

"Utterly unjust." That's how a Colorado judge describes Rene Lima-Marin's 98-year sentence for robbing two stores, a wrong he's righted after almost two decades.

According to Governor John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Department of Corrections, Lima-Marin was flagged in their system upon preparation for his release for a possible Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer.

Cuba only accepts deportations on a case-by-case basis so there's not guarantee he will be sent there.

According to CNN, Rene Lima-Marin began a 98-year prison term back in April of 2000 after robbing two video stores in 1998.

"Technically the way it would work is we're not holding them after their release", he said, adding that they normally notify ICE when they plan to release someone so ICE can be there.

"Requiring Lima-Marin to serve the rest of his prison sentence all these years later would be draconian, would deprive him of substantive due process, and would perpetrate a manifest injustice, " the judge wrote in a court order obtained by the Denver Post.

"This is a really uplifting case", Diego said. Lima-Marin was mistakenly released on parole in 2008. In the ruling, he called Lima-Marin's re-incarceration "utterly unjust".

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

He was arrested-again-that day at 11 p.m., taken into custody in front of his family with the intention he would serve the remainder of his 98-year sentence.

Lima-Marin, who came to the US 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.

His father, Eli Borges, told the Post that Lima-Marin became a legal resident when they arrived but never applied for USA citizenship like his parents had done. During the six years he spent as a free man, Lima-Marin got married, raised a family and worked a steady job before the state noticed their mistake and Lima-Marin's sentence was reinstated.

The judge called Lima-Marin a model citizen and said he completed five years of parole with flying colors.

While a gun was used in the break-ins, no shots were fired and no one was injured, according to the judge. "The government-not Lima-Marin, his family, the community, and society-should bear the brunt of the consequences of its conscience-shocking deliberate indifference".

Today, Salazar said he felt "gut-punched" when he heard the news that ICE agents had intercepted Lima-Marin's release. "No other remedy will result in justice in this case", the judge said.

Lima-Marin is now being held at the Fremont Correctional Facility in Canon City, Colorado, said his attorney. "We are thankful that he took the time that he did". The decision regarding Lima-Marin's case is also now being reviewed by the Colorado Attorney General's office.

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