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When the law gets it terribly wrong

When the law gets it terribly wrong

I met John Button for the first time a couple of years back. Since then we have become friends through our common Church interests. John is a humble, quietly spoken and unassuming man, and someone it would be hard not to warm to pretty quickly if you met him.

John however, has also had a most horrifying experience, one that most people would find hard to believe could ever have happened.

In 1963 he was arrested, charged and convicted of murdering a girl he was dating at the time in Western Australia.

From the very beginning he claimed he was innocent. Six months after he was arrested, another convicted murderer, Eric Edgar Cooke was hanged for committing eight murders, but before he died, he also confessed to murdering the girl John Button was charged with murdering. Two appeals followed, one to the Supreme Court, the other to the Federal Court, but on both occasions Eric Edgar Cooke's confession was rejected.

John served 5 years of a 10 year gaol sentence, before being released on bail. 40 years later his conviction was over-turned and he was declared innocent of the murder he was charged with.

It's a story that is every bit as inspiring,
as it is horrifying

The circumstances which led to John's subsequent arrest and conviction are the stuff fiction books are written about, but this is no fiction. This is real life and John Button has lived the nightmare since 1963. Yes, he has written a book about his story, it's called "Why Me Lord!" and he's been pretty active working with a group who help other people, those like him who claim to have been wrongly convicted over various crimes. John's story has also featured in the media over the years but since he moved to Orange a few years back, he's kept a low profile. That is until now.

John has a story to tell and he's decided now is the time to tell it more publicly. It's a story that is every bit as inspiring, as it is horrifying. You will find it hard to believe that someone could ever end up where John did, given that his actions on that eventful night should have been seen for what they were, quite responsible and normal in the circumstances.

It took time but John has come through his experience remarkably well considering the circumstances, but he hasn't done it alone and it wasn't always smooth sailing, in fact it wasn't until he was at the lowest point of his life before he found the help he needed to really turn his life around.

John Button will tell his story publicly for the first time in Orange next Monday (March 25) during Orange Presbyterian Church's Mission Week 2019. It's a story worth hearing. Titled "Wrongful Conviction - John Button's Story", he'll speak from 7.30pm at Orange Presbyterian Church on the corner of Anson and Matthews Ave, Orange. Admission is free.

Dignity and the media

Dignity and the media

The Upper House

The Upper House