Showdown! New governor will undo Soering transfer

news-kainesoeringmcdonnellConvicted killer Soering is now caught in an international tug-of-war between Kaine, left, and McDonnell, right.

It's a stop-the-presses moment as the new governor, acting after consultation with new Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as well as state legislators, including Charlottesville-area Delegate Rob Bell and Senator Steve Newman, who serves the district where the 1985 murders took place, has asked the Justice Department to undo outgoing Governor Tim Kaine's final act in office: moving convicted killer Jens Soering to Germany.

"I hereby revoke Virginia's consent to the transfer," Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell writes in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. "I am responsible for ensuring that justice is done."

Kaine made the move without fanfare on his final day in office. And his only defenses thus far–- obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the newspaper that broke the story–- are that 1) he's been assured that Soering will serve at least two years behind bars in Germany and 2) that he wants Germany to "assume the burden" of incarcerating Soering.

Such defenses have prompted howls of outrage and suspicions that the move of Soering, the son of a German diplomat at the time of the killings, is part of a larger political deal, and like that perpetrated by President Bill Clinton with his exit-day pardon of indicted donor Marc Rich.

Kaine's recent record on civil rights includes declining to restore the voting rights of felons and issuing only limited pardons in the case of the most-likely-innocent Norfolk Four, so his eagerness to effectively pardon a convicted killer (about whose guilt he says he's convinced) comes as a surprise to many Kaine-watchers, who always saw this head of the Democratic National Committee as a straight arrow.

Other officials cited by McDonnell as informing his move include Delegate Todd Gilbert (R- Woodstock) and U.S. Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-6th). But it's not just Republicans. Even Democrat Tom Perriello opposes the transfer.

"Having reviewed all information and consulted with officials," Perriello says in a statement, "I strongly support Governor McDonnell’s revocation of the planned transfer of Jens Soering, who was duly tried and convicted of heinous crimes here in the United States."


Well that's one good thing so far. Leaving his female accomplice to rot for 99 years in Fluvanna Women's and giving him only 2 more years just seemed so wrong. The other thing Kaine did in his last few weeks in office was to fill up all the boards and commission appointments he could. Also noticed through the years more men appointed judges than women, although I highly doubt that will change under our new Governor (:.

Finally a governer with a set of cajones'!

Wouldn't Soering be effectively paroled or his sentence commuted, not pardoned?

I petitioned Gov. Kaine for a conditional pardon for my mentally ill son who recieved an excessive amount of time (five years) for breaking someones jaw (it was his first offense) or to commute his sentence. He refused to do either, left office and said my son could get the help he needed in prison. What a slap in the face ! Kaine would rather release a killer then to help save the life of a young man with mental illiness. The attorney was paid $25,000. Greed and Corruption rule in our capitol.

Kudos to Periello for having a mind of his own! He's OK by me.

Just another Democrat trying to abuse his power before leaving office.. Republicans are finally getting their feet back in the door,Thank God! November elections will show that "WE THE PEOPLE" are tired of being TAXED to death.

This is the best kind of bipartisanship: The keep-dangerous-killers-in-cages kind.

I think Jens Soering should never have been sent to prison in the first place because there's no physical evidence that proves he did it. (The sock print? I've seen Elizabeth's print and it fits just as well.) He was found guilty by a jury who was convinced of his guilt before the trial even started, his lawyer was so grossly incompetent (and diagnosed with severe psychological issues!) that he lost his license shortly after Soering's trial (look it up - it's a fact) and even a former DA, Gail Marshall, who knows a great deal about the whole case, is convinced Soering is innocent. Oh, and his ex girlfriend who testified against him was a junkie - she did heroin - and was so messed up and used to tell so many lies that even her two half brothers said - in court! - that they don't believe one word she says. Seriously, would you be satisfied with a trial like that? Would you accept a biased jury and a conviction based on no real evidence at all, just on some made-up story by your heavily addicted ex girlfriend? I don't think so. So send him to Germany and let him be free.

I'm so sorry for your pain Karen and don't want to make it worse, but at the same time Kaine was refusing to release your son on a conditional pardon for a first time offense of assault/aggravated whatever, he was making political points by saying he was going to fund mental health courts to prevent this kind of thing from happening in the first place. He was also making all kinds of promises to beef up mental health services, instead we cut cuts. One thing you may not know, Virginia sentencing law allows for discriminatory sentencing of people with mental illness. That's a law that should be changed and would be easier to pass than mental health courts since it would not cost money and the G.A. doesn't like to spend money on people with mental illness unless they can get political points for it. Don't know if you are someone who wants to get involved in politics, but if you are you might find others in similar situations and push to change Virginia's sentencing laws and policies legally giving longer sentenes for the same crime to people with mental illness than to people who do not.