Rogel Aguilera-Maduros, a young truck driver, was sentenced last week to 110 years in prison for accidentally killing four people in the state of Colorado. His brakes malfunctioned when he landed.
Judge Bruce Jones, who presided over the driver’s hearing, ruled that “if he had the power, he would not have imposed such a harsh sentence.” But Colorado law mechanically forced Judge Rogel Aguilera-Maduros to serve up to two years in prison, and they were sentenced by an arbitral tribunal: 27, some of whom were found guilty of “violent crime.”
A “completely disproportionate” sentence
According to Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, the drama that took place on April 25, 2019, far from Denver, was actually an accident. That day he was traveling in a half-trailer loaded with wood on a freeway when his brakes failed, he said as he disembarked. He had finished his race at a speed of 130 km per hour in vehicles immobilized by the accident. A total of 28 vehicles were trapped in the pile, some of which were set on fire in shock. Four were killed and six were injured.
He was charged with negligent driving and making disastrous choices during his insane race. According to the lawyer’s services, the young man may have kept his truck on a trail specially designed for emergency stops, but may have opted to stay on the highway in the middle of traffic. His lawyer, James Colcan, told ABC Television that his client “may have been guilty of gross negligence” but the sentence was “completely unequal”.
4.7 million people are begging for mercy
Faced with such seriousness, a petition was launched on the site Change.org Ask the Colorado authorities to pardon the young man or change his sentence. As of Wednesday evening, more than 4.5 million signatures had been collected on the petition. Reality star Kim Kardashian took to the young man’s plight on Twitter, calling on Colorado Governor Jared to “do the right thing”.
The governor said the clemency petition had been received and was being investigated. For their part, attorney services pointed out that they had requested a new trial to reconsider Rogel Aguilera-Maduros’ sentence, which was granted “in exceptional cases” by Colorado law.