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Colorado governors frequently use leniency

DENVER (KDVR) – Colorado’s governors often exercise their clemency, but circumstances vary greatly.

Governor Jared Polis said he would consider leniency in the Rogel Aguilera-Mederos case within the next 14 days. Supporters of Aguilera-Mederos – the lorry driver who got behind the wheel in a crash that killed four people in 2019 – said his 110-year consecutive sentence was harsher than necessary for a tragic accident.

Polis is no stranger to its powers of granting clemency by reducing sentences, or pardoning or expunging sentences.

Over the past three years, Polis has issued 30 individual pardons at the request of inmates, in addition to more than 2,700 pardons for cannabis-related crimes and three amnestys for the now-repealed death sentence. cancel.

Polis grants clemency only in a small fraction of the cases.

The Clemency Executive Office received 171 pardon applications and 205 applications for relief through Polis’s term as governor, according to his office.

During that time, he received 23 pardons and seven pardons. In addition, he pardoned more than 2,700 convictions for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and mitigated the now abolished death penalty for three inmates.

Former Governor John Hickenlooper was more active with leniency during his tenure. In 2017 and 2018, he granted 156 pardons and 18 pardons.

Aguilera-Mederos advocates are talking about a pardon, rather than an amnesty. To date, Polis has advocated for more nonviolent crime.

Only two of his commutation points involve violent crimes, both with unique circumstances. Erik Jensen was found guilty of juvenile murder before the U.S. Supreme Court concluded such a sentence against the minor. Polis reduced the sentence for Abron Arrington, another convicted killer who received a longer sentence than others involved in the crime.

The Aguilera-Mederos case will be unique on its own, both for its violent but random nature and the fact that Aguilera-Mederos has yet to serve a year in prison.

In the governor’s process of eliminating violent and nonviolent crime, time plays an important role. So far, Polis has only granted relief to prisoners who have served years and in many cases decades of their sentences.

https://kdvr.com/news/colorado-governors-use-clemency-frequently/ Colorado governors frequently use leniency

JACLYN DIAZ

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