DENVER — Gov. John Hickenlooper said he will consider pardoning Rene Lima-Marin, who runs the risk of being deported to Cuba by federal agents.
Supporters said the husband and father of two turned his life around after he was mistakenly released from a 98-year prison sentence in 2008.
The governor and lawmakers are expressing concern over the case.
On the day Lima-Marin was set to be reunited with his family, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents moved in to detain him. That action is placing big pressure on the governor to act.
Lima-Marin was convicted of armed robbery, but he was released decades early because of a clerical error. During his release, he started a family and turned his life around.
“Law-abiding, very successful, constructive member of society,” Hickenlooper said. “It’s a remarkable story.”
Lima-Marin was sent back to prison after the mistake was realized in 2014.
But earlier this week, a judge released him from prison and that’s when ICE moved in on the Cuban-born father.
The governor has received a formal bipartisan pardon request from lawmakers. He is not shutting the door on offering Lima-Marin protection.
“I’m going to take a look at the request and process it like I would any other,” Hickenlooper said.
A pardon would take away Lima-Marin’s felony conviction, which lawmakers say is the main legal basis for his current ICE detainer.
The pardon would likely force ICE agents to once and for all allow Lima-Marin to go free.
In the pardon request, Reps. Paul Rosenthal and Dave Williams called the possible deportation “the highest act of cruelty in this case.”
The governor has not said when he might act on the case.