Criminal Law, Das System Söring / The Söring System, Evidence, Murder, Police and Prosecutors, Self-Promotion, Soering, True Crime

An Open Invitation to Debate John Grisham, Jason Flom, Amanda Knox, Bill Sizemore, Marcus Vetter, Karin Steinberger, and/or Chip Harding

For decades, Team Söring had the upper hand, broadcasting a story of twisted love and kangaroo-court injustice to millions of people. Since Söring landed in Germany in 2019, he hasn’t been out of the spotlight for long. His new crusade is to try to obtain a “media pardon” after being bitterly disappointed that he did not receive a pardon from the Governor of Virginia. He’s written a book and given dozens of interviews, without facing a single genuinely critical question. Some of those features later had to be re-edited or even spiked completely (g) when German viewers and listeners complained of their bias.

Yet a counter-narrative has recently emerged, in the form of an 8-part German language podcast called “The Söring System” (Das System Söring). It begins with a detailed reconstruction of the case, drawing on the recollections of Terry Wright and his trove of documents, some never before revealed publicly. It then moves on to document the “system” Söring and his supporters used to convince hundreds of strangers that he was a victim of a miscarriage of justice. A former trusted confidante of Söring’s explains how he used sympathy and a one-sided propaganda campaign to attract prominent supporters, and how she eventually came to believe that his innocence claims were dubious at best.

Now, not just one but two Netflix series — one fictional (g), one a purported documentary (g) — are slated for release in late 2022/early 2023.

The time is certainly ripe to ask the question: Who’s right about Söring’s claims?

Well, how about a debate?

I’ve reached out to most of the people in the title of this post privately, pointing out inconsistencies and inaccuracies in Söring’s story (and in their statements about the case), but none has ever replied with a defense of Söring’s claims. I can only assume these folks still believe Jens Söring is innocent and/or that he received an unfair trial. If they’ve changed their minds, they haven’t said so publicly.

If they still believe Söring’s claims, then they should welcome a chance to make their case in a fair, public debate against with an informed skeptic, such as myself.

So, to the Americans in this post title, I propose the following: I’ll fly to the USA, if necessary, wherever you like, at my own expense. You can choose a moderator and a venue for the debate — auditorium, TV studio, Zoom, I don’t care. We’ll agree on a format — Lincoln-Douglas, Oxford, or anything else. As many of you can show up as you like, I’ll be happy to debate as many Söring supporters as want to take part, like a chess prodigy playing 10 grandmasters at a time:

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As for Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger, I’ll be happy to debate you in English or German, anywhere in Germany or the world via Zoom, anytime, under agreed conditions, with a moderator of your choice.

I have a large archive of materials about the case. In the spirit of fairness, I’ll be happy to share it well in advance of the debate with all opponents, so we meet each other on fair terms.

Is Jens Söring credible? Did he receive a fair trial? Let’s have it out in an open, public forum, definitely with questions from the audience, whether live or online. Anyone can call in and ask whatever they like. This debate will illuminate the fascinating issues raised by the case, and help viewers of either or both Netflix series understand what they’re about to see.

Most of the people in the title of this post know my email address, but even if not, please feel free to reach out to me via this website, or any other way. I hope many of you will respond.

On the other hand, if you have come to believe that Söring misled you, I would invite you to make that public. All of you have made bold and controversial claims on Söring’s behalf, or given Söring a platform to broadcast such claims. Those claims have damaged the reputations of innocent people and stirred up significant controversy on both (g) sides of the Atlantic. If you no longer stand by them, I think you should say so. It’s the right thing to do.

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