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Billionaire investor George Soros has given a half-million dollar boost to efforts to overhaul California's three-strikes law.

Soros' $500,000 donation to the "Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012" was reported Friday by the ballot drive's fundraising committee, sponsored by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, records show.

Stanford University professor David Mills, the measure's proponent, invested an additional $250,000 last week. He cumulatively has contributed $603,000, records show.

The only other substantive donation this year was $100,000 from investor Peter Ackerman of Washington, D.C.

The campaign must collect 504,760 valid voter signatures by May 14 to qualify for the November ballot.

The initiative would amend California law to require that only serious or violent felonies qualify as a third strike punishable by prison sentences of 25 years to life.

The measure also would allow some offenders to appeal if they were sentenced under "three strikes" law after conviction of minor crimes.



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