Man appeals after being returned to prison after mistaken release

A man is making a case for cruel and unusual punishment after being mistakenly released from serving his sentence for aggravated robbery.

Faces 90 years in prison for robbery despite having turned his life around

A Colorado man who was mistakenly released from prison after serving eight years of a 98 year sentence for aggravated robbery now faces the prospect of serving the rest of his sentence behind bars, according to NBC News. The man was released due to a clerical error. In the six years that he was free, he lived openly in his community, married, had children, held a job, and even opened a youth ministry. When authorities noticed their error, however, he was sent back to prison. The man is now appealing his sentence and his supporters are calling for him to be pardoned. The case highlights how serious sentences for some crimes can be, especially if they involve a weapon.

Multiple counts

According to US News and World Report, the error occurred after a judge sentenced the man to multiple counts of robbery, kidnapping and burglary in connection to two robberies in Aurora 15 years ago. The judge ordered the man to serve the sentences back-to-back, meaning his total sentence ran to 98 years. A court clerk, however, made an error and wrote down that the sentences were to be served all at once.

As a result, the man was released after eight years. Although he did not notify authorities of the mistake, he did turn his life around. He got a job, got married, had a son, opened a youth ministry, and even completed his parole. Despite that, when authorities noticed the error they rearrested the man and sent him back to prison to serve the rest of his sentence.

Cruel and unusual

The man is now appealing his sentence, saying that locking him up for 90 years after he was already released constitutes cruel and unusual treatment. He notes that he did not go into hiding when he was released and did not commit any crimes. He also says his family has been unfairly deprived of a husband and father.

In addition to the appeal, members of the public have also begun petitioning Gov. John Hickenlooper to pardon the man. Although no decision has yet been made, the Attorney General's office says it is reviewing the case.

Aggravated robbery

This case, while unusual, does show how seriously crimes are treated by courts and prosecutors when they involve a deadly weapon. In terms of robbery, the use of a deadly weapon during a robbery can lead to a charge of aggravated robbery, which in turn could lead to severe mandatory minimum jail sentences.

Such criminal charges are not to be treated lightly. Anybody who has been charged with an offense needs to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. A qualified attorney can help ensure the client's rights are protected throughout the legal process and provide guidance along the way.

Keywords: aggravated robbery, mistaken release, cruel and unusual punishment, Colorado