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Goodlatte Urges US Attorney to Reject Soering Transfer

Congressman Bob Goodlatte has sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder requesting that the Department of Justice reject the request made by former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine to transfer convicted murderer Jens Soering to Germany.  The transfer of Soering to Germany would mean that he could conceivably serve two years or less of his two life sentences for the brutal murders of Derek and Nancy Haysom.

Dear Attorney General Holder:

It has come to my attention that former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, in the last days of his gubernatorial term, requested that convicted murderer Jens Soering be transferred to Germany pursuant to the International Prisoner Transfer Program. I am writing to respectfully request that this transfer not be made or in the alternative that newly sworn-in Governor Bob McDonnell be permitted to submit comments on the transfer application.

As you know, Soering was convicted of the brutal and violent murders of two residents of Lynchburg, Virginia. His accomplice was sentenced to a 90-year term of imprisonment, which she is currently serving. Soering was sentenced to two life terms in prison.

Virginia’s judicial system tried Soering for these crimes, convicted him and sentenced him taking into account the total circumstances surrounding the case. Allowing this transfer to Germany would undermine this judicial process, with no input from the victims’ families or law enforcement officials who investigated and prosecuted the case. Again, I urge you not to make this transfer or that you at least allow the newly sworn-in governor to submit comments on the request.

It is my understanding that the decision to approve or deny a proposed transfer os committed to the discretion of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and is based upon the entire record of the offender. I also understand that the seriousness of the offense and the potential public outrage at the transfer are factors that DOJ considers in evaluating such transfers. The nature of these murders was brutal and the public outcry over the potential transfer has already been great in the affected community of Central Virginia. I have already been contacted by numerous constituents expressing opposition to this transfer, including some involved in the original case.

I urge you to weigh these factors heavily as the transfer of Soering to Germany could lead to his release within 2 years after arriving there, if not sooner.

Thank you for your consideration.


Bob Goodlatte,

Member of Congress

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