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18th Judicial District Attorney questions legitimacy of Governor's pardon

DENVER - The 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler is questioning the legitimacy of Governor Hickenlooper's pardon of Rene Lima-Marin.

Rene Lima-Marin was serving a 98-year prison term for robbing two video stores in 1998. He was released, improperly, in 2008.

Five years later, after he'd been married and started a family, it was discovered that he was only released because of a clerical error.

Lima-Marin was sent back to prison.

On Tuesday, a judge said Lima-Marin has paid his debt to society.

However, Lima-Marin was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement just when he thought he was getting his freedom back.

Governor Hickenlooper announced a pardon for Lima-Marin on Friday afternoon.

District Attorney Brauchler issued the following statement in response: 

“Colorado law requires the governor to provide 14 days for relevant parties --  including the district attorney and sentencing judge --  to respond to an application for a pardon. I have never seen an application for pardon in this case. We were not given the statutory time to respond, and we were not able to seek input from the victims or give them notice that a pardon was sought or being considered. The victims likely will find out like we did – on social media or news outlets.

“The pardon application form that the governor’s office purportedly requires applicants to submit clearly states that a pardon  is available only after seven years have elapsed from the end of the applicant's sentence. This applicant wasn’t even out of custody seven days

“It does not appear the governor followed Colorado law. In fact, it appears this pardon is in violation of Colorado law and may be an invalid pardon.
“The hasty decision to ignore state law was made seemingly to skirt federal law, and that is not an appropriate use of the governor’s pardon power.”

Files redacted: 

Clemency application redacted for Rene Lima-Marin 

Affidavit for Rene Lima-Marin's previous crimes 

Lima-Marin clemency response redacted

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