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SACRAMENTO — She grew up poor in the Fillmore District, attended Lowell High School and went on to earn her law degree from UCLA. Now attorney Valerie Monroe runs a criminal defense practice in the upscale Los Angeles suburb of Palos Verdes. Despite the shift in surroundings, this NAACP activist and former San Franciscan has just taken on the political crusade of a lifetime.

Together with private investigator and perennial Peace and Freedom Party gadfly Jan Tucker, Monroe is launching the first initiative effort aimed at the 1994 “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law, modifying it so that a third strike is reserved for serious and violent felonies only.

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