Terry Wanzer had to fight for more than 20 years to have his record expunged, even though he was exonerated in 1996. The impact on his life was terrible: He had trouble getting housing, he couldn’t get a job. Life was difficult, to say the least.
We helped Terry get in touch with an attorney, and in 2020, the state of Georgia finally expunged his record. He is able to apply for housing and other assistance, and look for work, and he doesn’t have to worry so much about his record being a barrier to achieving his goals.
Many people are surprised to learn that Exonerees frequently struggle to have their wrongful conviction removed from state records.
Thanks to the efforts of a Sunny Center volunteer, Carrie, who has become a friend as well as a supporter, we are in the process of organizing a small army of women lawyers who will help Exonerees with the process of expunging their records.
The laws for expunging a criminal record are different in every state, and even every county, so it’s a bit of a challenge. However, the process is the same, so this project will focus on creating a template for going through the process of expungement.
Ultimately, the goal is for exonerated people to have their record automatically sealed or expunged at the time of their exoneration. This helps make it very clear that an Exoneree is not guilty. They should not have to fight their battle all over again, for years and years.
We will update you on this project as it develops, but we are so excited to be moving forward! You can help us continue to support Exonerees’ efforts to clear their names and rebuild their lives.
When you make a donation to The Sunny Center, you’re helping us do so many things. You’re helping to maintain and operate the Sunny Healing Center in Ireland where, in normal years, we bring Exonerees to help them process their experience and step on the path to healing and happiness. You’re helping our residents at the Sunny Living Center in Tampa, Florida. You’re helping to defray the costs involved with our direct work with Exonerees. And helping us with the day-to-day running of the centers and the outreach program.
Any amount helps, no matter how small. Please make a donation today.
Volunteers Make This Happen
Thank you to our newest volunteer Stoss, who has been helping us with social media template design! Visit us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to see all the latest activity at The Sunny Center. And let us know what you think of the new design!
While the pandemic put a temporary pause on the volunteer program, the needs of Exonerees in the U.S. and around the world didn’t go away. From getting a ride to the doctor, to fixing a car so they can get to work, to obtaining basic items like groceries or pet supplies, Exonerees often need a helping hand.
You may be able to help out in specific ways. Drop us a line and tell us about the skills or services you might be willing to provide when needed.
Wish Lists: Help Exonerees Directly
Support an Exoneree directly by purchasing a needed item for them!
Thank you so much for your support! And don’t forget, you can purchase through smile.amazon.com and select The Sunny Center Foundation USA, Inc. as your charity of choice.
See the Wish List FAQ here.
Help Us on Social Media
Support for Exonerees
Women Exonerees are welcome to join SUNDAYS WITH SUNNY, a group online chat where we can share and learn and grow together, and just be there to support one another.
And all Exonerees, please visit our Outreach page and contact us if you need help in any way. We will respond to you. Even if you just need someone to talk to!