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Lawmakers pass resolution pushing for clemency of convicted felon mistakenly released

DENVER -- Lawmakers in the State Senate unanimously passed a resolution Thursday to push for Gov. John Hickenlooper to release a convicted felon from prison.

Rene Lima-Marin was mistakenly released from prison early. By the time the state realized the mistake, he had already been free for six years. He was sent back to jail and has been fighting for his freedom ever since.

The resolution asks Hickenlooper to grant clemency to Lima-Marin. It's not known if the governor will grant it.

"I wasn't expecting a unanimous vote, so it's very surprising, overwhelming," Lima-Marin's wife Lasmine Lima-Marin said.

The case dates to 1998 when Lima-Marin was 19 years old. He robbed two video stores and was sentenced to 98 years in prison.

But he was let out on parole after serving only eight years, a clerical mistake that took the state six years to discover.

In that six years, Lima-Marin got married, had children and found a stead job. But when the mistake was made, he was sent back to prison, tearing apart the family.

"I would have never had a wife. I would have never had children. I would have never bought a house. I never would have done any of those things," Lima-Marin said in 2014.

"But I did those because you let me out. And now they are being punished for something they had absolutely nothing to do with.

"People have raped, molested kids, taken lives, and have 15, 20, 25 years. And I made a mistake and tried to steal some money and I am given my entire life in prison.

"I acknowledge that I did something wrong, I take responsibility. But I also believe I completed the punishment.”

In December, Lima-Marin's attorneys asked a judge to release him but a decision has not been made. Now, lawmakers are stepping in.

“Technically, this resolution has no legal weight, but it’s more than symbolic," Rep. Joe Salazar said. "We are telling the governor, as a body, how we feel.”

Jasmine Lima-Marin hopes Hickenlooper will grant the clemency.

"Please, do this for us. Let our family be back together and let Rene come home," she said.