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02nd Jan 2022

Truck driver’s 110-year prison term slashed to just 10 by governor

Danny Jones

The people have been heard

Truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos has finally had his 110-year prison sentence following a road traffic accident reduced following a petition for clemency that reached over five million signatures.

As reported in multiple US outlets, the public outcry over the 26-year-old’s jail time has ultimately been heard as Colorado Governor Jared Polis drastically reduced his sentence to 10 years this past Thursday.

The petition to have Rogel’s case re-examined has been circulating on social media for weeks and truckers even started boycotting the state of Colorado over what they deemed not only to be a ridiculous and inhumane verdict, but one that set a precedent regarding others in the industry.

Aguilera-Mederos killed four and injured multiple others in a crash involving 28 cars when the brakes on his truck failed. Despite having no control, he was slapped with a total of 27 counts back in 2019 and state law ‘necessitated’ that he serve the incredibly harsh term.

Prior to the accident, the then 23-year-old had no previous criminal record or even a mark on his driving license, only adding to the outrage from those witnessing the injustice while other cases where criminals intended harm or were negligible, i.e. drunk-driving, had led to less jail time.

However, District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones said at the time of his sentencing that he had “no desire” to give Aguilera-Mederos life in prison and would have recommended for a reduction in sentence had he the power.

Thankfully, it would seem that this sentiment prevailed, as Governor Polis said: “There is an urgency to remedy this unjust sentence and restore confidence in the uniformity and fairness of our criminal justice system, and consequently I have chosen to commute your sentence now”.

He also went on to state his hope that this case will hopefully spur a discussion about the current sentencing laws in the state, though he admitted that any future changes would not help Aguilera-Mederos who will spend a decade of his life in prison. Meanwhile, he will be eligible for parole in five years time.

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