Senate Bill 94 requires judges to consider resentencing murders, if they state that certain circumstances apply to their case. They do not have to express remorse or guilt or explain rehabilitation efforts during the process. Crime Victim’s United has led the charge against this legislation and have listed potential eligible inmates to be the most heinous murderers.
Some of the defendants who would be eligible to petition for resentencing under SB 94 include:
• Richard Philips of Madera County, who in 1977 lured two Vietnam veterans into a rural area where he shot them multiple times, stole their wallets, then doused them in gasoline and lit them on fire. One victim survived the horrifying experience. Philips was convicted and sentenced to life without parole, even after a 2019 retrial.
• Samuel Windham of Monterey, who in 1982 burned his 26-year-old wife alive, setting their home on fire while his wife and children were inside. Their children were rescued and continue to live with the trauma of escaping death at the hands of their father.
• David Alan Weeding of San Diego, who entered a woman’s apartment and attempted to rape her. The violent act was thwarted by her husband, who came home and stopped the rape. Weeding stabbed the husband to death. Because Weeding was not convicted of rape, he would be eligible to apply for resentencing.
• Arthur Chris Burbridge of San Diego strangled and killed two women, whom he admitted to raping, but he only pled guilty to murder so he would be eligible to apply for resentencing.
• George Herbert Wharton of Santa Barbara beat his girlfriend to death and stuffed her body in a barrel in the kitchen of their apartment in 1987.
• Jason Leroy Smith of Sonoma sliced the wrists of an 88-year-old victim and then burned down the house he was in.
• Tim Dale Morris of Ventura in 1985 burglarized the home of an elderly, deaf, one-legged man whom Morris beat to death in his own bed. Morris had a previous burglary conviction.
• Thaddaeus Turner of Merced, who in 1984 invaded a man’s home and robbed him. In the course of the robbery, he stabbed the man over 40 times with a buck knife, causing him to bleed to death.