PREFERRED PROCEDURE A TRIAL COURT SHOULD FOLLOW WHEN ACCEPTING A GUILTY PLEA THAT IS MADE PURSUANT TO A PLEA AGREEMENT

.McClanahan v. Com., 308 SW 3d 694 (Ky., 2010)

For guidance to the bench and bar, we set forth the preferred procedure a trial court should follow when accepting a guilty plea that is made pursuant to a plea agreement. As stated by the Court of Appeals in Misher v. Commonwealth, 576 S.W.2d 238 (Ky.App.1978), “The sentencing court should merely accept the plea, note the recommendation or agreement concerning sentence, and set a day certain for sentencing. No sentencing at all should be carried out until KRS 532.050 has been complied with.” Id. at 241.

By assuring Appellant upon acceptance of his guilty plea that should he violate the terms of his release, the full force of the “hammer clause” would be dropped upon him, the judge committed to the imposition of a specific sentence in a way that precluded true compliance with KRS 532.050(1), KRS 532.110(1), KRS 533.010(1) and (2), and RCr 11.02. Following Misher and Matheny avoids that problem.

III. CONCLUSION

For the reasons set forth above, the final judgments entered against Appellant are hereby reversed. This matter is remanded to the Jefferson Circuit Court for further proceedings consistent herewith.

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