Quisi Bryan's conviction for the 2000 murder of Cleveland Police Officer Wayne Leon has been appealed multiple times in state courts, but all have been rejected.
Now, Federal Judge James Carr says there were errors at trial regarding jury selection. During that process, Bryan's lawyers objected to the prosecutor's challenge to one juror, saying it was based on her race.
"The prosecutor then stood up on the record and provided, I think, six race-neutral reasons as to why they struck that particular juror," said prosecutor Chris Schroeder.
The juror was a woman who was related to the county prosecutor and had reservations about the death penalty, and didn't feel the justice system was fair.
The judge allowed her to be dismissed and Bryan was convicted at trial.
In the wake of the federal judge's ruling, prosecutors now have 120 days to retry Bryan or appeal his decision, which is likely.
If the appeal is granted, Bryan goes back to death row. If not, a new trial is likely.
Prosecutors say if they have a new trial, they have an even better case than they did 15 years ago.
Back then, they did not know about Bryan's later-revealed rapes. Prosecutors believed he shot Officer Leon during a routine traffic stop.
Now they believe Bryan shot Leon out of fear of being identified as a rapist.
Because of the rapes Bryan faces up to 47 years in prison even if the appeal is denied and prosecutors decide not to seek a new trial.
"He will be staying in prison for the foreseeable future, no matter what happens," said Schroeder.
Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Steve Loomis released the following statement Friday:
"Quisi Bryan is an ADMITTED cop killer and nine (9) time DNA-convicted rapist. The reason this judge gave this murdering, raping animal a new trial is nearly as offensive as the crimes this convict has himself committed.
This ADMITTED murdering/raping animal has been allowed to marry and live his life while on death row for the last 15 years while Wayne's family, partners and friends continue to suffer an excruciating loss resulting from a "routine" traffic stop.
This court's insensitivity to Officer Leon's family and memory is offensive. They are devastated and forced to continuously relive this nightmare for decades while this murdering/raping animal celebrates his honeymoon and the newfound hope that comes with this judge's unbelievable and heartbreaking decision."
Click here to read statements from Leon's widow and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor.