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Colorado Convict Freed 90 Years Early Appeals Sentence

A Colorado convict sent back to prison after being mistakenly released 90 years early says it was cruel and unusual punishment to put him back behind bars after he reformed his life. An appeal filed Wednesday in the case of Rene Lima-Marin also says his constitutional rights were violated when a judge in January ordered him to finish his sentence after he started a family during nearly six years of freedom.

Lima-Marin, now 35, was convicted in 2000 of multiple counts of robbery, kidnapping and burglary after he and another man robbed two Aurora video stores at gunpoint when he was 20. A judge issued him back-to-back sentences for a total of 98 years in prison. But a court clerk mistakenly wrote in Lima-Marin's file that the sentences were to run at the same time. Corrections officials depend on that file to determine how much time an inmate should serve, and Lima-Marin was released on parole in 2008. He got a job, married his former girlfriend, had a son and completed parole before authorities realized the mistake in January and sent him back to prison.

He did not reoffend and lived openly in the same community where he committed the crimes, his attorney, Patrick Megaro, noted in the filing to the Colorado Court of Appeals.

IN-DEPTH

- The Associated Press