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Soering supporters continue to push for pardon

(by Isabel Lawrence, cbs19 news, October 27, 2017, Link)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Supporters of Jens Soering, the German man who was convicted of a double murder in Virginia decades ago, are continuing to push for his release.

On Friday morning in Charlottesville, Soering's supporters claimed that there were errors in the initial trial, from interpreting DNA evidence to using unreliable confessions. The conference was lead by Steven Rosenfield and Gail Marshall.

Dr. Andy Griffith, an expert in investigative interviewing in the U.K., contributed to the conference via Skype. He said he found three main inconsistencies in Soering's confession.

The first, he said, was in regards to clothing. In his confession, Soering said he remembered one of the victims was wearing jeans. However, the victim was shown to have been wearing a floor length house coat with a geometric pattern on it.

Griffith said his second reason to discredit Soering's confession was that there was no place setting at the dining room table where Soering had told investigators he had sat.

Third, Griffith found that when asked to sketch the scene, Soering misplaced a victim's body as compared to crime scene photos.

Additionally, Dr. Moses Schanfield, a professor of forensics at George Washington University, took issue with the blood evidence at the scene.

"Jens' DNA was not in any of the samples that were tested," he said. "So based on that, we have no basis to say that Jens was involved. The other thing is, we have two other people, a group O and a group AB individual who were not Jens, who were males, who were in that house."

Statements were also read by Mary Kelly Tate, director of the Institute for Actual Innocence at the University of Richmond School of Law, and investigator Chuck Reid, who were not present at the press conference.


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