The governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, commuted the 110 prison sentence of trucker Rogel Aguilera-Mederos to 10 years with the possibility for parole in five years. Aguilera-Mederos, 26, killed four people and wounded dozens of others in 2019 when his truck crashed into them following a brake failure.
After the prison sentence of 110 years was handed down to Aguilera-Mederos, a public outcry erupted and people condemned the sentencing. More than three million people signed a petition to have Mederos’ sentencing commuted, and they condemned Colorado’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws. One of the notable voices in the outcry was Kim Kardashian who stated that the laws should be abolished.
Gov. Polis said he was commuting Mederos’ sentencing to 10 years with the possibility for parole in five years because the sentencing outweigh his “tragic but unintentional act.” The governor also signed two other commutations, pardoned 15 prisoners, and granted executive pardons to 1,351 persons convicted of possessing two ounces or less of marijuana.
“The length of your 110-year sentence is simply not commensurate with your actions, or with penalties handed down to others for similar crimes,” Polis wrote to Mederos in his commutation letter. “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.”
Law enforcement said Mederos was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the crash occurred. The 26-year-old said he would have loved to die in the crash than to have the four victims die. He said he had lost all joys since the crash took four lives. The dead are Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano, 24; Doyle Harrison, 61; Stanley Politano, 69; and William Bailey, 67. Mederos faced 27 charges before his sentencing, including vehicular homicide.
Gov. Polis said mandatory minimum laws in Colorado should be reviewed and tasked Mederos to seek “restorative justice opportunities” to the community and families that suffered from his deed. The governor revealed that a member of Mederos’ family worked in the governor’s office but was unaware that his sentence would be commuted.
Kim Kardashian expressed joy that Mederos’ sentencing was reduced from 110 years to 10 years, adding that Polis had demonstrated empathy and good leadership by his executive intervention.
“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,” Kardashian tweeted. “While his new sentence is ten years, he will now have an opportunity to come home in five years and be with his son and wife.”