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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Republicans produce document they claim shows Kaine connection to Soering

with 8 comments

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:

Here are links to the documents in question:

*Plea of sovereign immunity (references the affidavit),
*The European filing that includes Kaine’s affidavit,
*The affidavit itself (pulled from the filing)a>;;;. Kaine’s section begins on page 12.


Written by Ryan Nobles

July 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm

8 Responses

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  1. Glad to see the AG has so much time on his hands. Pure politics and a waste of time and money. Nice work Cuch!


    July 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm

  2. This isn’t politics, it’s a matter of criminal justice. I watch the Investigation Discovery Channel a lot and am fairly familiar with this case since there are episodes of a couple different programs on there that cover this story. This guy even confessed to killing his girlfriend’s parents because he thought he would just get away with a couple years locked up in Germany (the couple fled the country after the murders) but when he was extradited back to the States, he tried to claim that he just made that up to protect his girlfriend. Holder even agreed with Gov McDonnell rescinding his transfer to Germany so that right there shows that the only one politicizing this case is “Hanging10”!!

    Rebecca Leigh Randolph

    July 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm

  3. There was a case decided yesterday concerning this that involved the AG. So of course his office would know about this and want to release it. So glad you don’t care about a double murderer being released…


    July 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

  4. Has Cuccinelli spent any one minute of his time as AG actually doing his job and serving the citizens of Virginia — rather than playing petty politics? Maybe he’s getting tired of filing cases that get laughed out of court and now wants to pull a political stunt that can’t actually get quashed by a judge. I hope we can have a real AG again one of these days rather than a right-wing, conspiracy-theory-driven, taxpayer-money-wasting wacko.


    July 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    • I’m not sure what’s considered “petty politics” on your planet. But making sure a double murderer isn’t released is neither petty, nor political. Cuccinelli’s statement follows the judge’s ruling on Thursday. Kaine wants to be Senator. If he was playing games with the safety of Virginians, we’ve a right to know.

      Michael Fletcher

      July 14, 2012 at 10:11 am

      • This so-called murderer has spent 25 years in a Virginia prison on our dime. Why shouldn’t he be sent to Germany for further incarceration? He has paid his time here for his “crime of passion.” I say let him go….he won’t come back, don’t worry.


        July 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm

  5. “could’ve” and “should’ve”???? New journalism grammar?


    July 14, 2012 at 8:38 am

  6. […] Republicans produce document they claim shows Kaine connection to Soering (nbc12.wordpress.com) […]

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