Leaders

Jasmine Lima-Marin

My name is Jasmine Lima-Marin, and as of January 7, 2014 I fell victim to mass incarceration.  I am now facing the possibility of serving a 98-year sentence alongside my husband who is currently being held at Kit Carson Correctional Center in Burlington, Colorado.

Just when I believed there was nothing I could do, I found Together Colorado. They have been my support system during this journey and through them I have been given this opportunity to share my story with you.

I am 33 years old and I am married to Rene Lima-Marin. We have two children: Justus is 8 years old and Josiah is 4 years old. Our beautiful family was torn apart on January 7, 2014 because of a clerical error.

In 1998 my husband Rene was arrested for aggravated robbery of two local video stores. He was convicted of the following charges in 2000:

     *Three charges of second-degree kidnapping from moving a store clerk from the front of the

       store to the back of the store=16 years each;

     *Two first degree burglary charges=10 years each; and

     *Three aggravated robbery charges=10 years each.

His sentence was a total of 98 years if run consecutive and 16 years if run concurrent.  During these events no one was physically hurt and the guns were not loaded. 

I do not want to make light of the mistakes that my husband made as a teenager; however I do call into question the life sentence imposed for these crimes, as did the sentencing judge back in 2000.

My husband was sentenced to 98 years, a clerical error was made and he was given a 16 year sentence. He spent 10 years of his life in prison and during this time he received no write ups. My husband was paroled and released in April of 2008—a decision made by the Colorado State Parole Board. In April of 2013 he completed his 5-year parole sentence successfully. 

During my husband's time on parole he worked very hard to turn his life around. He became a father figure to my son from a previous relationship.  He held employment for the full six years. He started a ministry gospel rap group that brought the gospel to teens through music.  He helped coach our son's soccer team. We had a son together, Josiah, who is now 4 years old. And in 2011 we purchased a home.

Then on January 7, 2014 at 2 p.m. our lives were forever changed when he received a call from Marnie Adams from the Arapahoe County Public Defender's Office. My husband was advised that there had been a mistake on his sentencing and rather than his sentence running concurrent it was supposed to have run consecutive. This means he should have served the 98 years rather than the 16 years he was given.

My husband being reincarcerated has had a tremendous effect on my life. Now I wake up every morning and do not have the person that makes me feel whole next to me. He is my better half, the one who lets me know how strong and beautiful I am, the one who showed me life is worth living, that anyone can change for the better. And he is no longer by my side.

On that day my husband was stripped of his fatherly rights.  He can no longer provide for his family, be there to help his children with their homework, to teach them how to ride a bike, or tuck them in at night. The duties that a true father looks forward to daily, were taken away from him in the blink of an eye. I now wake up every morning praying that our boys do not ask me when Daddy is coming home.

I am now stuck paying for an attorney so that my husband may have a chance at life again, while I also struggle to pay my bills and keep food on the table. My family is no longer complete. I miss my best friend, my soul mate. My children are missing their protector, their wonderful father.

Everyday I sit thinking this cannot be my life. I tried to figure out how I will raise two boys on my own, so they do not end up as their father once was. I wonder how I will raise them to be wonderful young men as their father is now. I continue to pray every day and keep faith that God will bring my husband back home to his wife and children where he belongs.

Becoming a leader with Together Colorado has been the best choice of my life. We are giving the people in our community a chance to speak out regarding what is going on with them. As Together Colorado we plan to continue our daily fight to put an end to mass incarceration in Colorado and all over the world.