The brother of one of four people killed in a 2019 automobile crash called Colorado Gov. Jared Polis a ''despicable human being'' for reducing the sentence of the truck driver who caused the crash and initially received a 110-year prison term, CBS Denver reported.
Duane Bailey said that the governor ''undermined the integrity of the courts'' and the jury that convicted Rogel Aguilera-Mederos for lowering the sentence to 10 years, pointing out that the truck driver could get out of prison in as little as five years on parole.
Bailey acknowledged that life in prison was too harsh a sentence, but said it should have been at least 20 or 30 years. Aguilera-Mederos was found guilty last month of 27 counts in the fatal crash, including vehicular homicide.
Bailey added that Polis, a Democrat, ''put himself above the law by not letting the court proceedings finish out. There was a hearing scheduled on January 13 to reconsider his sentence. The governor should have let that hearing take place.''
He also said that Polis ''has decided political and social media pressure is more important than the victims of this crash. We as a society put penalties in place to punish those that do wrong and give an adequate incentive for others not to commit the same crime.''
After Aguilera-Mederos was sentenced to the minimum of 110 years under the law, an online petition urging a commuted sentence received more than 5 million signatures, including celebrity activist Kim Kardashian, who called on Polis to take action.
''Rogel is not a criminal, the company he was working for knew the federal laws that go into truck driving but they failed to follow those laws,'' the petition reads. ''This tragic accident wasn’t done with intent, it wasn't a criminal act, it was an accident.''
At trial, Aguilera-Mederos testified that the brakes of his tractor-trailer failed as he rolled into Interstate 70 and damaged 28 vehicles, telling CBS Denver in an interview from jail that he was ''crying all the time'' because of the crash.
Bailey countered that ''this was not an accident, it was a series of decisions on the part of the driver that caused [four] deaths. The jury heard the evidence and convicted him.''
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