Former Auckland Mayor John Banks is screaming blue murder, demanding the Solicitor-General stand down after the Court of Appeal overturned his conviction for filing a false electoral return after the 2010 local elections. He said he's been to "hell and back" during the three-year battle.
"You've got no idea how punishing this has been ... you've no idea how lonely this has been," the teary-eyed former police minister told waiting media.
The gathered news hacks might not have experienced the pit of despair he was talking about, but Teina Pora, another casualty of the legal system currently in the public eye, certainly has. Unlike Mr Banks, who didn't serve a day of his now quashed two-month community detention and 100 days of community work sentence, Pora spent 21 years in jail, wrongly convicted of rape and murder.
In an interview with the Herald's Phil Taylor, he spoke of years passing without a visitor to his cell. "As the years went on, I just started to realise no one cared."
Like Mr Banks, he is seeking redress. It will be interesting to see which of these two casualties of the legal system gets satisfaction first. The millionaire high-profile politician or the penniless low-IQ victim of fetal alcohol syndrome from South Auckland.
Both, of course, were part-authors of their own misfortunes. Both of their own free wills ventured into the justice spider web that then entrapped them. Mr Banks' mistake was to fail to read, before signing, a declaration of donations to his 2010 mayoral campaign which omitted the names of big donors like Kim Dotcom and SkyCity. This left him open to the allegation that he knowingly tried to hide the names of major backers - an offence under electoral law.
Mr Pora had been plain stupid. In the hope of scoring some reward money, the 17-year-old petty criminal, with a mental age of 10, spun detectives a tall tale about knowing who had committed a cold case rape and murder. By the end of four days of intense police interrogation, instead of shaking the cops down for a few dollars, the bewildered Mr Pora ended up confessing to the crime himself. Even though he had nothing to do with it.
The spotlight that has gone on these two cases has highlighted yet again that our justice system is more fallible and less perfect than those involved would like us to believe. Also, that like most venerable institutions, those at the top, be they the police, the Crown prosecutors, or the courts, find it very difficult to admit to, let alone revisit, their mistakes.
Unsurprisingly, Mr Banks' demands for redress have had an immediate response from a former Cabinet colleague. Attorney-General Chris Finlayson noted that the Court of Appeal had criticised the conduct of the Crown case and said "there are matters of concern that Crown Law will be wanting to look at".
He was referring to the fact that Crown prosecutors had failed to disclose to Mr Banks' legal team, or the Court of Appeal, before the November 2014 appeal, that principal witness Kim Dotcom had changed his evidence. Last week the court ruled this failure had "misled the court", and that this "serious error of process" had "occasioned a miscarriage of justice".
Compare that to the repeated rebuffs Mr Pora got in his long struggle for justice. It took a foreign court, the London-based Privy Council, to seriously question "whether the confessions could be regarded as reliable". The law lords ruled that as the confessions "were the central and critical evidence at both his trials ... there was a risk of miscarriage of justice if Mr Pora's convictions were to be allowed to stand".
By then, even the hardline Police Association had been arguing that.
Yet in response to the Privy Council ruling, Justice Minister Amy Adams trotted out the old line that "the New Zealand justice system has a highly regarded, robust appeal process for dealing with people who consider they have been wrongly convicted".
Both Mr Pora and Mr Banks would beg to differ. Both are now seeking recompense. Mr Pora has been waiting longest, but will he be served first?