On Thursday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis commuted the prison term of a trucker by a century. The trucker had been sentenced to 110 years, following a fatal accident a couple of years ago. The current term has now been reduced to 10 years. There was public outcry and a signature campaign to petition that Rogel Aguilera-Mederos’ original sentence of 110 years should be reduced.
Polis said that although the truck driver was not blameless, his sentence was “disproportionate compared with many other inmates.” He mentioned that some of these inmates in the criminal justice system of the nation had committed intentional, premeditated or violent crimes.
The Colorado governor said that a relative of the truck driver’s attorney was working in the his office but that did not influence the decision. He said that this particular case highlighted “the lack of uniformity between sentences.”
Polis also said that though his actions causes tragedy and immense pain to Coloradans, he was encouraged that the truck driver’s personal reflection and the commercial vehicle changes that were made after the accident would ensure that such events would not occur again.
On April 25, 2019, Rogel Aguilera-Mederos killed four people. He said that his brakes failed when he was driving on the downhill grade on Interstate 70 eastbound, which is located outside Denver. However, prosecutors said that he behaved recklessly. They also argued that he had taken a series of poor decisions before the accident took place.
Aguilera-Mederos, who is 26, was driving a truck that had a trailer filled with lumber. He was traveling at roughly 85 mph in a stretch where the speed limit for commercial vehicles was 45 mph. His speeding resulted in a chain-reaction crash. It caused a fire and 28 vehicles were involved. Four people died in the accident and several dozens were injured.
The sentence of a century and a decade prison term for the trucker lead to a huge public outcry. A petition with more than 5 million signatures asked for a commutation of the sentence.