"Utterly unjust." That's how a Colorado judge describes Rene Lima-Marin's 98-year sentence for robbing two stores, a wrong he's righted after nearly two decades. Lima-Marin was just 19 when he and a friend robbed two video stores in 1998, per CNN. No one was injured (Lima-Marin claimed the gun involved was unloaded), and the pair only moved store employees from one room to another, reports the Denver Post, but Lima-Marin was convicted of kidnapping, burglary, aggravated robbery, and use of a deadly weapon. His sentences for these crimes were to be served consecutively for a 98-year sentence and a possible parole date of October 2053. But because of a clerk's error, documents showed they were to be served concurrently.
Based on those documents, a public defender advised Lima-Marin not to file an appeal, believing he would soon be eligible for parole. In 2008, Lima-Marin was indeed released, found a job, got married, and started a family. But when the error was realized in 2014, he was again thrown in prison. In a decision Tuesday, Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour Jr. said that move required the government to act with "conscience-shocking" indifference. "Requiring Lima-Marin to serve the rest of his prison sentence all these years later ... would perpetrate a manifest injustice," he added. Lima-Marin's attorney says she expects her client to be released Wednesday or Thursday. Adds his wife: "I'm still a bit in shock. I can't believe it's over."