More than 4.5 million people, including Kim Kardashian, have signed a petition to have a US truck driver’s 110-year jail sentence lowered after his brakes failed and he plowed into traffic, killing four people in 2019.
Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, a Cuban immigrant, was moving timber in Colorado’s mountainous western state when his brakes failed on a downhill section and he refused to use an emergency departure ramp in April 2019.
Six persons were injured in the ensuing 28-car pileup.
A jury convicted Aguilera-Mederos guilty of 27 counts, including several vehicular fatalities, and a judge sentenced him to 110 years in prison, which he claimed was the mandatory minimum under Colorado law.
“I will state that if I had the discretion, it would not be my sentence,” he said, according to The Denver Post.
However, the length of his sentence has sparked widespread outrage, with 4.6 million people signing a Change.org petition requesting pardon or a commute of his sentence based on time served.
Kardashian, who is studying law, has asked Colorado Governor Jared Polis to intervene.
“Mandatory minimums take away judicial discretion and need to end,” she tweeted.
“Colorado law really has to be changed and this is so unfair. @GovofCO is a really good person and I know he will do the right thing.”
Polis said Tuesday that his office has received and is reviewing a clemency application.
Separately, on Friday, the prosecutors who prosecuted Aguilera-Mederos’ initial accusations submitted a request asking the court to consider decreasing his sentence.
“As Colorado law required the imposition of the sentence in this case, the law also permits the court to reconsider its sentence in an exceptional case involving unusual and extenuating circumstances,” said the motion filed by district attorney Alexis King.
On social media, some truck drivers have stated that they will refuse to operate in Colorado until the case is resolved.