2021 ended on a high note for trucker Rogel Aguilera-Mederos who was granted clemency and had his sentence reduced from 110 to 10 years, in a groundbreaking ruling.
This came after millions of people rallied together in defense of the Cuban migrant who was sentenced to 110 years in prison for an accident that was believed to be out of his control. Instead, public and expert opinion unanimously believes in holding the company he worked for accountable.
The 26-year-old truck driver was convicted of vehicular homicide in October 2021 for causing a pileup that resulted in four people losing their lives and six others getting injured west of Denver, on Interstate 70. Though the incident is incredibly tragic, public outrage is justified given the harshness of the sentence.
In addition to millions of people who petitioned on his behalf, people who know the young trucker have expressed anger and heartache, having known him personally. Cubans from South Florida are feeling hurt and seeing through the pitfalls in the justice system, seeing as how it was a technical flaw and he lost his brakes. Hundreds have vouched for his character, and the absence of drugs and alcohol and a lack of priors only reflected what these people had to say.
Expressing deep regret and remorse for the accident, Rogel Aguilera-Mederoswept as he apologized to the victims and their families before he was sentenced. Fortunately, his strength of character, community and public support, and the overall nature of the incident enabled Governor Jared Polis to grant clemency and reduce his sentence. He will still serve 10 years, factoring in his inaction over using an emergency ramp that was available, but it’s a win for the father of one, regardless.
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