Republicans produce document they claim shows Kaine connection to Soering
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli released a document that he claims shows a connection between former Governor Tim Kaine and convicted murderer Jens Soering, prior to Kaine being elected to public office.
Kaine, then a practicing civil rights attorney in Richmond, wrote a three page supportive affidavit that was then used on Soering’s behalf. The affidavit package appears to show Kaine offering assistance to Soering’s defense team in seeking relief from a potential capital punishment sentence.
Kaine’s campaign says he had nothing to do with the matter and that document was part of the public record. They say it was not intended for inclusion in this affadavit.
The document filed in 1988, is part of a series of affidavits Soering filed fighting his extradition from Germany to avoid the death penalty in Virginia. Soering was eventually convicted of two first degree murder charges and given two consecutive life sentences in 1990.
In the document Kaine does not address Soering’s guilt or innocence, but instead talks about the legal ramifications of a capital murder conviction. In fact, Soering himself is not even mentioned in the document.
Kaine has consistently said that his connections to Soering were only as governor and it was his responsibility to review requests from the man, and act accordingly. He finally signed a letter allowing the DOJ to review the case so that Germany would be financially responsible for his imprisonment, and only after the country convicted him in a German court and agreed he’d be sent directly to a German prison.
Kaine’s campaign vehemently denies his connection to Soering in this matter and says the affidavit was pulled from the public record of a 1988 case. Kaine served as an expert on Virginia capital procedure in a constitutional hearing initiated in federal court by Virginia capital inmate Joseph Giarrantano. They note that Soering’s name is not included anywhere in the filing and that Kaine did pnot consent to his work being used in the case.
In a conference call on the matter, Cuccinelli conceded that it is in the “realm of possibility” that Kaine could’ve written something in support of a completely different case that could’ve have been used in this matter. However, Cuccinelli defended his assertion that Kaine has not been completely forthcoming for his reasoning for offering Soering a transfer. He said that during their review of the case, they should’ve been aware that a document exisited with his name attached to it, that was used in support of Soering.
The Kaine campaign released the following response to Cuccinelli’s release of the documents:
“Governor Kaine wrote this affidavit as an expert witness in a completely separate case that had nothing to do with Jen Soering. Not once does it mention Jen Soering nor does it deal with the specific circumstances of the Soering case. We’ll leave it to the Allen campaign and the Attorney General to use state government resources to play politics in the Virginia Senate election. Governor Kaine is focused on working together with Virginians to strengthen our economy and create jobs.” — Brandi Hoffine, Kaine for Virginia Communications Director
We will continue to look into the details behind the issue.
Meanwhile, here is my uncut interview with the Attorney General from First at 4: