DENVER (CBS4)– A Colorado man is one step closer to being released from prison– again. A resolution asking Gov. John Hickenlooper to grant clemency to Rene Lima-Marin was unanimously approved on the state Senate floor Thursday. The state House approved the resolution in April.
Following the approval, the resolution makes its way to the governor’s desk for consideration.
Lima-Marin was convicted in 1998 for his role in two armed robberies and sentenced to 98 years in prison.
After a decade of serving time behind bars, Lima-Marin was released from prison several years early.
It took the State of Colorado six years to realize that a clerical issue was behind Lima-Marin’s early release and he was returned to his cell.
In the years he was free, Lima-Marin reset his life. He married his high school sweetheart, had children and found faith.
“This whole situation enlightened me. I became a man of God,” Lima-Marin told CBS4 in a phone interview from prison.
Moments after state Senators unanimously approved the resolution, Jasmine Lima-Marin called her husband.
“‘[He said] praise God!’ He is excited, I could hear it in his voice,” Jasmine said.
Jasmine Lima-Marin said the unanimous decision on the resolution showed the state’s elected officials believed her husband should be released.
She said, for her husband’s sake, it would be best if he was brought home soon.
“Sometimes, he is doing okay,” Jasmine said. “Then, there are days where he is not doing okay.”
Jasmine said one factor she hoped the governor would consider was the time her husband already served, compared to the crime he committed.
“The crime never fit the sentence in the first place,” Jasmine said.
“We were in the store for less than three minutes,” Rene said.
The Lima-Marin’s said the behavior Rene showed during his time outside of prison should be one of the most significant factors considered.
“He demonstrated that the rehabilitative redemptive purpose of corrections was fulfilled through him,” said Rep. Joseph Salazar, a Democrat representing Thornton and unincorporated Adams County.
With the decision left to the governor, Jasmine said she hoped her husband would be home in a matter of weeks.
“I think we are both a little nervous, anxious, and just waiting to see what is going to happen next,” Jasmine said. “I try to encourage him, and make sure he stays positive. So, he knows this will be over soon.”
State lawmakers also advocated for Lima-Marin to be pardoned from his crimes as well.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.