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McDonnell Revokes International Agreement Authorized By Kaine

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By Rebecca Blatt

Governor Bob McDonnell doesn't want a man who is incarcerated in Virginia to be sent back to Germany even though McDonnell's predecessor, Tim Kaine, endorsed the transfer during his final days in office.

Just last week, Kaine authorized a request to transfer inmate Jens Soering to Germany. Soering is serving two life sentences for killing a couple in Bedford County. His father, a German diplomat, lobbied for the transfer and if it's approved by the U.S. Justice Department, Soering could be eligible for parole in two years.

Commonwealth Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says the move would essentially commute Soering's sentence. He notes that even though Virginia's governors have the power to commute sentences, they must at the very least first notify the victim's family. Cuccinelli says Kaine neither consulted the victim's family nor any law enforcement agency involved in the case.

"They are quite upset at the notion that justice by our standards may not be carried to fruition," he says.

Cuccinelli says McDonnell's revocation is unprecedented -- but he expects it will be honored.

A spokeswoman for Kaine says the former governor, who will not comment on the specifics of the case, did review the German government's request very carefully and felt comfortable with the assurances it provided.


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