Colorado Governor Jared Polis used his power on Thursday (December 30) to drastically reduce the prison sentence of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos to 10 years.

In 2019, the brakes on Rogel’s tractor-trailer failed causing him to lose control on Interstate 70 outside of Lakewood, Colorado. 

The fiery crash damaged 28 vehicles, injured dozens, and killed four people.

Prosecutors argued that Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, who was 23 at the time, was at fault for the deaths in the accident because of decisions he made, such as not steering the truck to a runaway ramp.

In October, Rogel was convicted on 27 counts and sentenced to 110 years in prison on December 13.

The egregious sentence brought national attention to the case and outrage.

A petition urging Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) to grant the driver “clemency or commutation-as time served” has garnered over 4.6 million signatures.

In his letter to Rogel, Governor Polis wrote:

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. 

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. 

Your highly unusual sentence highlights the lack of uniformity between sentences for similarly situated crimes, which is particularly true when individuals are charged with offenses that require mandatory minimum sentences. 

This case will hopefully spur an important conversation about sentencing laws, but any subsequent changes to the law would not retroactively impact your sentence, which is why I am granting you this limited commutation.

Read the full letter here.

While I am happy Governor Polis stepped in to modify this sentence, my thoughts and prayers are also with the families impacted by this tragedy.

Your thoughts?

Source: AP