In June, 1968 the Kentucky Crime Commission, in keeping with legislative instruction, made certain recommendations for a change in Kentucky's current treatment of crime and punishment. Within its report was a suggestion that sentencing in all non-capital criminal cases be rendered by the judge instead of the jury. Thus, it must be emphasized that this discussion is confined only to sentencing in noncapital cases.
The authors have arrived at a definite recommendation which is offered at the conclusion of the paper. It is our opinion that the suggestion outlined is not only the most efficient and proper but also the most feasible under our present sentencing apparatus. Although we have utilized the results of our research and interviews to support our preference, it is important to emphasize that another purpose of this writing was to expose the various available alternatives.
It would be most difficult, if not impossible, to accurately assess and criticize the rationale and practical effect of the Crime Commission recommendation, relying entirely upon academic recordings. The writings of legal thinkers provide little basis for a realistic approach to a practical discussion of what needs to be done to the sentencing procedure in Kentucky. Consequently, while the authors of this article have given sufficient adherence to the scholastic writing on the subject, we have also taken a practical look at the sentencing structure of Kentucky. We have searched out answers to pressing questions on the subject from members of the judiciary, corrections department, and members of the parole board. Thus, while it may be said by more prominent craftsmen than ourselves that such information received has been unskillfully used, we submit the proposition that at least our scope has not been impaired by insufficient preparation.