Rhododendrites via Wikimedia Commons

Miyares took matters into his hands in order to help a man accused of some horrendous crimes prove his innocence.

Michael Haas, was falsely convicted of sexually assaulting his sons in 1994. After an unsuccessful attempt to prove his innocence back in 2010, Miyares office decided to take another look at the case. The Court agreed with the Office of the Attorney General and attorneys for Mr. Haas that current medical advancements proved that the medical testimony used for the sentencing was unreliable. Virginia legal expert Rich Kelsey explains that courts get better when science gets better.

“How they evaluated pediatric standards at the time is completely different than how they’re evaluated now, which played a role in this new evidence,” Kelsey explains. “And so I think the idea here is as science gets better, we should be prepared to open up these cases to make sure that in fact justice is done.”

In a written statement, Miyares said that the successful writ of actual innocence in this case demonstrates that Virginia’s system is working as envisioned.

“Today, our justice system prevailed and righted a wrong by giving a falsely convicted man a writ of actual innocence. I’m extremely proud of my office’s role in securing justice for an innocent man,” said Attorney General Miyares.

Following the announcement, Mr. Haas said that “I would like to thank the Office of the Attorney General for their work on my case, and for seeing the truth.”

Brad Haywood at Justice Forward Virginia gave full credit to the attorney general deserves for coming to the aid of an innocent man.

“It is good to see somebody like AG Miyares, who has never been known to be an ally of criminal justice reform, to embrace a statute that was created to promote justice and promote reform,” Haywood says.