Colorado governor cuts 100 years off sentence for truck driver in fatal crash
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) on Thursday commuted the 110-year sentence of the truck driver involved in a crash that killed four people, calling the sentence that was handed down "highly atypical and unjust" and reducing it by 100 years.
In October, a jury found Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, 26, guilty on 27 counts relating to the incident in which his truck crashed into stopped traffic on I-70, killing four people and injuring at least 10 others. Aguilera-Mederos told the court that his brake had failed before the crash.
Aguilera-Mederos was sentenced to 110 years in prison due to mandatory minimum sentencing laws in Colorado. The sentence drew international outcry for its severity, with fellow truck drivers boycotting Colorado in protest.
As KDVR reported, Aguilera-Mederos applied for clemency from Polis, which the Colorado governor granted on Thursday, cutting his sentence down to 10 years.
"I believe you deserve clemency for several reasons," Polis wrote. "You were sentenced to 110 years in prison, effectively more than a life sentence, for a tragic but unintentional act. While you are not blameless, your sentence is disproportionate compared with many other inmates in our criminal justice system who committed intentional, premeditated, or violent crimes."
Polis stressed that the crimes Aguilera-Mederos was convicted of are "serious," but said he was "encouraged" by the "personal reflection" the defendant had done as well as "the commercial vehicle safety changes" that were made in light of the crash.
"While you have begun the process of taking accountability and recognizing the mistakes that led to this tragic event, I strongly encourage you to take additional responsibility for your actions by seeking restorative justice opportunities to address your obligations to those who suffered loss and to repair the needs of the community due to your carelessness," said Polis.