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Campaign against crime bill intensifies

A team of civil rights and prisoner rights groups are intensifying a campaign to thwart a statewide crime reform bill, saying the state should not rush into a decision on legislation that could send hundreds of defendants to prison without the possibility of parole.

The groups, in letters to legislative leaders, have particularly taken issue with the Three Strikes component of the package, which would mandate life in prison without parole for people convicted three times of certain crimes. It would also require a habitual offender to serve a maximum prison sentence with reduced eligibility for parole on other offenses.

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