Home Fighting early release

Fighting early release


Column by Del. Rob Bell

Last Saturday, I was very surprised to hear that Gov. Tim Kaine had approved the transfer of a Virginia inmate, Jens Soering, to Germany. Pursuant to the agreement, Soering would be eligible for parole in as soon as two years.

Soering was the University of Virginia student from Germany who in 1985 brutally murdered Derek and Nancy Haysom, his girlfriend’s parents. When his alibi fell apart, he fled the country and was ultimately arrested in England. He was only extradited after the prosecutor agreed to waive the death penalty. A Virginia jury sentenced Soering to two life sentences in 1990. However, pursuant to an international treaty, he was approved for transfer to a German prison.

Since the initial approval was announced, other legislators and I have worked hard to overturn it. Incoming Gov. Bob McDonnell has written a letter to revoke the prior agreement, and it is now before the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. On Friday, we circulated a letter from the Virginia General Assembly asking that the transfer be rejected.

I am hopeful that the transfer will be rejected, and Soering will serve the rest of the sentence he so clearly deserves.


My bills
As always, I have numerous bill ideas, including many that come from members of our community:

– HB 903: This would enable Threat Assessment Teams, which were created at colleges in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting, to share certain confidential medical and criminal information. Safeguards are included to make sure the information does not become public.

– HB 912: Some judges have ruled that if a sex offender is homeless, he has no “residence” and does not have to comply with the rules of the sex offender registry. My bill would eliminate this loophole. It would require each sex offender to establish a specific location where he could be found and to inform law enforcement when he is away from it.

– HB 934: This would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for criminals who murder auxiliary police officers and deputies in the line of duty.

You can see the status of any bill, and all of the bills I will be presenting this year at http://legis.state.va.us


Facebook and feedback

If you would like to see pictures of visitors, like fourth- and fifth-graders from Central Elementary in Fluvanna, they can be found on my Facebook page. You can even see me doing aerobics with the University of Virginia’s CavMan.

In addition, please tell me your thoughts by completing my online 2010 Legislative Survey at www.DelegateRobBell.com.

I can be reached at the General Assembly Building, P.O. Box 406, Richmond, VA 23218, 804.698.1058, [email protected].




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