Colorado Trucker Given 110 Years In Prison For Fatal Crash Has Sentence Cut After Public Outcry

Colorado Trucker Given 110 Years In Prison For Fatal Crash Has Sentence Cut After Public Outcry

The Colorado truck driver sentenced to 110 years behind bars over a fatal crash that killed four and injured several others has had his sentence slashed thanks to the state’s governor. Rogel Aguilera-Mederos has always expressed extreme remorse for the accident, but the sentencing judge claimed to be bound by the law when handing down the term. Now, thanks to Governor Jared Polis, the 26-year-old will get a second chance at building a life once he serves his time.

  1. Polis commuted Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence from 110 years to 10 years. This new sentence means that Aguilera-Mederos will be eligible for parole in five years. “I am writing to inform you that I am granting your application for a commutation,” Polis in his decision. “I believe you deserve clemency for several reasons. You were sentenced to 110 years in prison, effectively more than a life sentence, for a tragic but unintentional act.”
  2. The governor didn’t believe the original sentence was appropriate for the crime. Polis said that Aguilera-Mederos’ conviction for vehicular homicide and others should never have carried such a long sentence given the facts. Polis deemed the sentence “simply not commensurate” with the driver’s “actions, nor with penalties handed down to others for similar crimes.”
  3. More than five million people had petitioned for clemency for Aguilera-Mederos. Immediately after sentencing, the public outcry over the injustice became clear. Everyone from civil rights groups to celebrities like Kim Kardashian spoke out on his behalf. “This case was a clear example of why mandatory minimums don’t work and need to be abolished. I’m grateful to Governor Polis for his empathy and leadership on this case,” she tweeted.
  4. The ACLU welcomed the commutation and hopes it may change things moving forward. “The extraordinary nature of this particular case has prompted comments from some lawmakers that they may be interested in doing that,” said Mark Silverstein, the legal director of the ACLU of Colorado, as per The Guardian. “Sometimes unfortunately it takes an extraordinary case like this that put something that ought to be on the legislative agenda to the top of the legislative agenda.”
Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.
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