A second federal judge in Detroit has dismissed out the indictment of a suspected felon in possession of a firearm as part of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods project, the Detroit News reports. A judge this week said that a defendant had been denied proper legal representation last year, when he declined to plead guilty to state gun charges. Hundreds of felons charged in Detroit’s Wayne County with possession of a firearm have had their cases moved to federal court, where they generally face stiffer sentences under federal gun laws.
After a judge questioned the practice, the U.S. Attorney stopped giving felons the choice of pleading guilty immediately in state court or facing the possibility of a higher sentence in federal court. Recently, another federal judge held the U.S. Attorney’s Office in contempt and threw out a federal gun indictment against a 29-year-old man for failing to turn over details of its program to get tough on gun felons.