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McDonnell to Holder: Keep convicted killer Soering in Virginia

Rosalind Helderman

At a Capitol Hill hearing last week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he was waiting to formulate an opinion on whether the Justice Department would allow the transfer of convicted murder Jens Soering from Virginia to Germany until he heard the position of state officials.

The answer was a bit surprising, given that various state politicians have made their positions very clear. Just before leaving office, former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) wrote a letter to the Justice Department, urging it to approve the transfer.

After taking office in January, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) asked the Justice Department to set that letter aside and keep Soering in Virginia. Soering was convicted in 1985 of killing Derek and Nancy Haysom in their Bedford County home. He is currently serving a double life sentence; if transferred to Germany, he would be eligible for parole in two years.

In an effort to clear up the confusion, McDonnell wrote Holder a new letter today reiterating that Virginia's position is that Soering should remain in Virginia. "Soering is currently in Virginia's custody for state offenses and he will remain so in order to serve out his Virginia sentence for the horrendous crimes he committed in our Commonwealth," the governor wrote.

Read the whole letter here.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 17, 2010; 6:24 PM ET
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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It always annoyed me that Elizabeth Haysom got the sweeter deal.

Had he never met that psycho beetch, I have no doubt that'd he be doing terrific things with his life.

But he did, and he made his choices, and there's no way she was the killer.

Let the poor guy out when he's in his 60's and remind both of them that they're lucky to still be alive and not having visited the electric chair.

Posted by: Georgetwoner | May 18, 2010 4:32 AM | Report abuse

This is a case where I'm glad my tax money is being spent to keep this low-life in jail here. I'm sure he'd be released in Germany in a few years. If Kaine had been Gov this guy would have been out the door. Good grief is there any tough on crime Democrat left in this state?

Posted by: espnfan | May 18, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I want to know more! Under most international prisoner transfer treaties, the prisoner must serve out his full sentence in the receiving country. I think with the exception of the death penalty, this is done routinely and actually does save us taxpayers the cost of incarceration for life. Is Germany different? You know the Germans may have a reputation for a lot of things, but leniency on murderers isn't one of them.

Posted by: civileyes | May 18, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Why, I thought Gov. McJesus was a compassionate man of 'god,' willing to forgive men of their past sins, and allow them to return to the straight and narrow after two years' repentance.

Posted by: perryneheum | May 18, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

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