It is misleading to describe this story as a Democratic governor letting an convicted armed robber escape punishment so he can stay in the US, though that is how it is being reported.
The world has gone mad, but the pardon issued to convicted bank robber Rene Lima-Marinby by Governor John Hickenlooper isn’t necessarily proof of that, though Lima-Marinby’s weird story is.
He came to the U.S. as a toddler in the 1980 Mariel boat lift from Cuba, and had obtained legal residency. His 2000 criminal conviction for armed robbery when he was 19 caused that status to be revoked. Lima-Marin was sentenced to 98 years in prison for the robbery.
Let me pause. He was 19, and they sentenced him to 98 years in prison.
Then he was mistakenly paroled from Colorado state prison in 2008, 90 years early. I’ve written about these cases before. I hate them. Releasing a prisoner then coming back years later and saying, “Oopsie! Sorry! Our bad! Back you go!” turns a gaffe into cruel and unusual punishment. Unless a prisoner is a serial killer or a terrorist or breaks the law after he is released, the authorities should bear the burden of such incompetence, and any early release should stand.
Lima-Marin is a good example of why this should be the practice. he married, had a child and got a steady job installing glass. It took six years for the state authorities to discover their mistake, and in 2014 they sent him back to state prison for the remainder of his 98-year sentence.
Yechh. Continue reading