A truck driver who was given a verdict of 110-years in prison for a deadly highway crash in Colorado in 2019 which resulted in the death of four people got his sentence reduced starkly by the governor of the state to mere 10 years.
Governor Jared Polis reduced the sentence of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos from 110 to 10 years.
The original sentence of Mr. Aguilera-Mederos for the Colorado highway crash had caused quite an outcry and got attention from different corners of life. People from all sides started a campaign to draw attention towards the mandatory sentencing of the state.
“After learning about the highly atypical and unjust sentence in your case, I am commuting your sentence to 10 years and granting you parole eligibility on December 30, 2026,” Mr. Polis said in a letter addressed to Mr. Aguilera-Mederos.
Attorney of Aguilera-Mederos did not respond to the request.
The governor also granted two other commutations in different cases as well as 15 other individuals were pardoned after he signed an exclusive executive order which “granted more than 1300 pardons for convictions relating to possession of two ounces or less of marijuana”
Mr. Polis wrote in the letter “you were sentenced to 110 years in prison, effectively more than a life sentence, for a tragic but unintentional act.” Mr. Polis wrote in his letter, adding that “the former truck driver wasn’t “blameless” for the actions that left four people dead, including Mr. Aguilera-Mederos’s own brother.”
More than five million people had signed a petition on change.org asking the governor to grant clemency to the truck driver.
The lengthy sentence was due to the mandatory minimums under state law. “I will state that if I had the discretion, it would not be my sentence,” the judge said at the time of the sentencing earlier this month.
Even Kim Kardashian West also took to social media and tweeted about the case calling it “shocking and unfair.”
“This case was a clear example of why mandatory minimums don’t work and need to be abolished,” she wrote Thursday on Twitter.
Mr. Aguilera-Mederos stated “he was hauling lumber when the brakes on the semitrailer he was driving failed while descending a steep grade of Interstate 70, The impact caused a chain-reaction accident that eventually involved 28 vehicles and flames that melted the highway and vehicles.”