A coalition led by Stanford University attorneys is seeking to reform the state's Third Strikes law with a statewide ballot initiative expected to arrive for the November 2012 ballot.

The group has secured at least one major financial backer, David W. Mills, a former investment banker and Stanford Law School professor. It also hired San Francisco political consultant Averell "Ace" Smith to lead what is expected to be a fiery campaign.

The group is seeking to limit felonies that trigger the "third" strike to violent or serious crimes. Under the existing law, people have received life sentences for a third strike of stealing a pair of socks, attempting to break into a soup kitchen to get something to eat and forging a check for $146 at Nordstrom.

Source: Mercury News

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