Tuesday, November 10, 2015

An Open Letter To Governor McAuliffe: Repatriate Jens Soering To His Native Germany

Governor McAuliffe
Dear Governor McAuliffe:

Jens Soering, 45, a former Jefferson scholar at the University of Virginia and the son of a German diplomat, was sentenced to two life terms in prison in 1990. He pled guilty to the first-degree murders of his then girl friend's parents in Bedford County in 1995, he insists, only in a misguided attempt to save her from getting a death sentence for the crime. As it turned out, they were both sentenced, she to serve a 90-year term.

There is no physical or DNA evidence linking Jens to the scene, and he says he was far from the scene at the time the terrible murders occurred. He says he naively assumed that he could plead guilty and would be extradited to Germany for a trial where he would be exonerated on the basis of a false confession or at least get a lesser sentence.

As you are aware, former Governor Timothy Kaine, at the end of his administration in 2010 and at the request of the German government, approved Soering's return to his homeland and asked the Justice Department to transfer him to Germany to complete his sentence there. Incoming Governor Bob McDonnell, however, at the urging of then Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, blocked the transfer, noting that in Germany he could be eligible for parole in two years.

Jens has no history of any kind of violent behavior in his background, and has maintained an impeccable record while incarcerated. During the nearly three decades he has spent behind bars, Soering has had nine books published, including The Convict Christ: What the Gospel Says About Criminal Justice, the first place winner of the Catholic Press Association's 2007 awards. 

Governor McAulliffe, whether you consider Mr. Soering innocent or guilty of the crime for which he was convicted, I call on you to demonstrate compassion for a fellow human being who has worked hard for for nearly three decades at demonstrating he can be a creative and productive member of society. 

Here's a link to an earlier post on Soering, with a list of some of the books he has authored.

More informative and supportive articles can be found on the following website:


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