The controversial sentencing of truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos gained millions of eyes recently. If you need a reminder about the details of the case, you can get a quick refresh here. Essentially, the truck driver blamed shoddy brakes for a horrific accident that took multiple lives in 2019. A judge found him guilty of several crimes and sentenced him to 110 years.
On one hand, at least 4.4 million people believed that the sentence was far too punitive. They used an online petition to voice their outrage. On the other hand, another crowd wanted the sentencing to stick. They felt that the punishment fit the crime. And the crime, they argued, was gross negligence.
It looks like the final chapter for the case has closed, however. The truck driver’s 110-year sentence has officially been reduced to 10 years. Colorado’s State Governor, Jared Polis, announced the commutation of the sentence on Thursday, December 30th.
State Governor Issues the Colorado Truck Driver a Commutation
“The length of your 110-year sentence is simply not commensurate with your actions, nor with penalties handed down to others for similar crimes,” Governor Polis said in his letter addressed to the truck driver. “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.”
“I am writing to inform you that I am granting your application for a commutation,” Polis included. “After learning about the highly atypical and unjust sentence in your case, I am commuting your sentence to 10 years and granting you parole eligibility on December 30, 2026.”
Whether the commutation had been issued or not, it seems the outcome of the case would have upset a large portion of the population regardless. And with that said, this decision comes as a symbol of justice for some, while it might mean the opposite for others.
What the Original Jury and Surviving Family Members Think of the Decision
An anonymous jury member spoke up shortly after the original 110-year sentence was given to the truck driver. They fell into the crowd that found the original sentence to be too harsh:
“There is just something wrong to where a judge cannot intervene in some way and say the way this is written is not right,” the juror said. “I cried my eyes out,” they continued in reference to the verdict.
A surviving family member also recently spoke out saying the following:
“I think we all can agree that [110 years] is excessive,” said Duane Bailey. His brother William Bailey died in the horrific accident. Duane also added that the jury “came to the correct decision to convict [Mederos].”