Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine recently answered questions about his decision to run for Senator Jim Webb’s Senate seat. And for the first time publicly, he addressed his controversial decision to transfer convicted murderer Jens Soering to his native Germany to complete his sentence for the 1985 double murder of Derek and Nancy Haysom, parents of his former girlfriend, Elizabeth.
According to the transfer agreement, Soering would have served the last two years of his sentence in Germany before being released. Ultimately, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell withdrew Kaine’s decision to extradite Soering, who filed suit against McDonnell and questioned whether the governor had the constitutional authority to decide his fate.
Kaine remarked that once he knew Soering could be imprisoned in Germany, "I basically decided, ‘Look, Virginia taxpayers had borne the cost of this German citizen’s incarceration for 20-plus years.’"
"I thought it was time for German citizens to bear the cost of his incarceration," Kaine told the Roanoke Times. Asked about how his transfer decision would impact his campaign, Kaine responded that he is "not concerned."
“Anything I’ve done is fair game,” he said. “Folks can raise it. What I’ll do is I’ll say, ‘Here’s why I did it.’ I ain’t perfect. I hope I’m better tomorrow than I am today and I wake up every morning hoping that. But I feel very, very good about my record.”