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Prisoner Michael Clifton's family enlists victim in bid for clemency

A Prisoner's Family Enlists Victim In Bid For Clemency
A Prisoner's Family Enlists Victim In Bid For Clemency 02:50

A man sentenced to nearly a century in prison has asked Gov. Jared Polis for clemency after serving more than two decades behind bars.


This story begins at gunpoint in 1998. Rene Lima-Marin and Michael Clifton robbing Jason Kasperek in an Aurora video store. Each gunman was sentenced to 98 years.

Fast forward two decades: Lima-Marin walks free following a paperwork mix-up then a pardon from Colorado's governor.

Michael Clifton tells a court "I want out, too."

In 2018, Kasparek told CBS4  he wouldn't go along with a clemency request, "I'm sorry, I'm one of the victims, it's a life sentence for me."

But then something called restorative justice took place. The victim, Kasparek met Lima Marin and then later Michael Clifton. Now Kasperek and his wife were nervously meeting Clifton's family.


They had come from around the country. The father, the mother, the son, the sister and more to seek help.

His brother Derrick said, "He's changed for the better, he's a different person."

Michael Clifton's father Larry said his son deserves to be out, "I'm scared, how one person can serve 8-16 years and another 98 years for the identical crime."

There was hope.

Kasperek told the Clifton family, "There is absolutely no way he deserves a life sentence."

When Kasperek met face to face with Clifton they spoke of his earlier troubles in prison.

"Once he did all he did was go positive from there and he is a wonderful man."

He added, "I will do what I can to help get him out."

It's not over yet, but this was an important step.

The prisoner's father Larry told Kasperek,"You're part of the family now."


The victim, now ally replied,  "I am so proud to be part of the family."

Polis will decide on the clemency request. His office said it does not comment in advance.

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