The facts around the case of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos seem pretty clear cut, however unfair.

  • A jury found him guilty
  • The judge didn't want to sentence him to 110 years.
  • The judge had to sentence him to 110 years because it was the mandatory minimal sentence.

Now I'm reading in the news

A judge in the US state of Colorado is set to consider on Monday a request from prosecutors to reduce the 110-year prison sentence of a truck driver...

How can a judge reduce a sentence below a mandatory minimum? Shy of being granted clemency or an act of the legislature is there anything that can happen here?

Follow up question, "What happens if a judge disregards a mandatory minimal sentencing law?"

2 Answers 2


Who decides when those conditions are met? (taken from the OP's comment.)

According to § 18-1.3-406. Mandatory sentences for violent crimes - definitions of the Colorado Criminal Code:

...within ninety-one days after he or she has been placed in the custody of the department of corrections, the department shall transmit to the sentencing court a report on the evaluation and diagnosis of the violent offender, and the court, in a case which it considers to be exceptional and to involve unusual and extenuating circumstances, may thereupon modify the sentence, effective not earlier than one hundred nineteen days after his or her placement in the custody of the department...


From the article:

Colorado law allows for sentences for crimes deemed violent to be modified in cases with “unusual and extenuating circumstances”, but those sentences cannot take effect until 119 days after a person enters prison.

  • First, I didn't see that. I didn't see below they obnoxious break in the page that says "Continue Reading" and lists other articles, that other articles were continued. So thanks. Second, so what is the point of a minimum sentence? I'm confused just to set a floor of 119 days? Who decides when those conditions are met? And to the original question what happens if a judge sentences under the minimimal sentence? Did he commit a crime? Is his sentence final? Dec 27, 2021 at 22:00
  • @Evan Carroll Why did you downvote his answer? He answered your question. You did see that 119 days, you just couldn’t read it.
    – kisspuska
    Dec 27, 2021 at 23:53
  • @kisspuska I did not downvote his answer. (I also didn't upvote it). Dec 27, 2021 at 23:55

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