A couple of Colorado district attorneys claim that the Governor’s abrupt commutation of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos’ 110-year sentence is creating a “substantial ripple effect” in court cases across the state. 

Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty and Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein submitted a five page letter to Governor Jared Polis on January 20th that was highly critical of the commutation. In the letter, the two District Attorneys call the commutation “unprecedented, premature and unwarranted,” and say that the decision to reduce the sentence to 10 years while the case was still pending in court has “undercut the community’s trust” in the justice system and has even impacted plea-bargain negotiations. 

“Your decision is having a substantial ripple effect,” the letter reads. “Sentences should be influenced by the facts and circumstances, not by petitions, online surveys or tweets.”

The two say that they submitted the letter ahead of a scheduled meeting between Polis and the board of the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council to allow for Polis to address their concerns, reported Mercury News.

“The governor wanted to clear the air and acknowledged that his action was unprecedented,” Dougherty said of the meeting. “DA Rubinstein and I are optimistic that our concerns were understood and that what happened in that case was an exception.”

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