Exoneree Terry Wanzer, In His Own Words

May 4, 2021 | Newsletter

Dear Friends of The Sunny Center,

A beautiful springtime sunset near The Healing Center.

“I feel like I’ve been exonerated for a second time, but this time I’m really free!”

Terry Wanzer was exonerated in 1996. But it took more than 24 years for the state of Georgia to clear his record.


In Their Own Words: Terry Wanzer

Last year, I contacted Sunny with The Sunny Center, a foundation that helps with housing when no one else can or will. I explained to her my situation: I couldn’t get housing or a job. Even though I had received a full pardon in 1996 for a crime I didn’t commit, the state of Georgia refused to expunge my record and fully restore my rights.

I couldn’t get a job or a place to live. Every time I applied for a job, I would be turned down because that felony conviction, of which I had been exonerated, would show up on the background check. Every time I applied for an apartment, I would be turned down based on that background check.

I explained my situation to Sunny. She contacted a lawyer here in Atlanta, and they went to bat for me.

The lawyer found that a new law was passed last year, SB 288, which stated that if you received a pardon from the Board of Pardons and Parole, the state must expunge your records. No ifs, ands or buts. How about that!

My record has been fully expunged. I can now say to a landlord or an employer, when asked if I’m a convicted felon: NO. If they run a background heck, absolutely no felonies will show up because my sentence has been vacated.

I’ve fought for 48 years to clear my name. Thanks to Sunny, I finally have done it.

That girl changes things by not giving up. ~ Terry Wanzer

Terry’s Wish List

We have created an Amazon Wish List for Terry, who is having trouble with his car. It is very old and won’t pass the inspection that is coming up in June. A gift card in any amount would be greatly appreciated and can make a huge difference for Terry!


Support for Exonerees

If you are an Exoneree who needs someone to talk to, or needs help in some way, contact us and visit our Outreach page.

Even though we are not yet allowed to travel or bring others to us, we can connect over the phone or online.


How You Can Help

Being exonerated of a crime they didn’t commit doesn’t mean an end to legal issues. Often, Exonerees must continue to fight for full restoration of their rights.

When you donate to The Sunny Center, you’re helping us continue and expand the work we do with Exonerees. Their needs have only grown during the time of Covid.

Every day, we speak directly with Exonerees to learn what they need – from housing to counseling to legal support and more – and we connect them with organizations and individuals who can help them.

Please donate to The Sunny Center today and help fight the good fight. Thanks to you, another Exoneree can get started on building a new life after unthinkable pain.


Peace and Love,
Sunny and Peter


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