Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis concluded 2021 by using his executive powers to offer some mercy. Polis commuted a controversial 110 year sentence from a trucker that killed 4 people in an accident and pardoned over 1,300 Coloradans who have been convicted of cannabis.
Rogel Aguilera Mederos was a nationally covered story when a judge sentenced Rogel Aguilera Mederos to 110 years imprisonment. This came after his truck’s brakes failed, and the driver of the truck he used in the accident that killed 4 people on a highway. Aguilera Mederos made some bad decisions that led to the brakes failing. It was certainly not his intention, however.
He was sentenced to the same punishment as a murderer because he demanded a trial. The prosecutor then punished him by bringing 42 charges against him. His harsh sentence resulted from all the mandatory minimums. He was eventually convicted on 27 of his charges. A. Bruce Jones, Judge at the time, stated that he didn’t want to impose such a severe sentence and had no control over the matter.
Alexis King, the First Judicial District Attorney, was charged with all of these accusations against Aguilera Mederos. King began looking for a reduction in his sentence. Polis also accepted the application of the trucker to commute his sentence, which was approved on Thursday. This reduced his sentence to 10 year imprisonment. Polis also wrote in his letter of commutation:
Your 110-year sentence simply is not proportional to your actions nor the punishments handed out for similar crimes. This unjust sentence must be rescinded immediately to restore faith in our criminal justice system and to ensure that it is fair and consistent. This arbitrary and unfair sentence is the result of Colorado’s law, which was signed by a previous Governor. It does not reflect the guilt of the judge that imposed the sentence. Therefore, I must take immediate action to ensure justice in this matter is served.
Concerning the mass marijuana pardons in Colorado, the legislature of Colorado passed a 2020 bill which simplified the process for certain convictions. The state law usually requires that each pardon be granted individually and takes a long time. H.B. The governor is empowered to issue mass pardons for marijuana possessions up to 2 ounces without the need to go through the entire process. H.B.
Polis declared that there were 1,351 pardons. Polis made it clear in a prepared speech that he was aware of the many rights these convictions for drug war have stripped citizens of.
Colorado law allows adults to legally possess cannabis. We are able to forgive the 1,351 Coloradans who had permanently blemishes that hampered their employment, credit and gun ownership.