Mr. Rivera was sentenced to just short of 60 years for his conviction and involvement in the murder of Sean Taylor. It’s a lot of time, but it’s less than the life sentence he was facing. It is one of the longest “term of years” I have seen someone sentenced to in Florida, that is, short of a life sentence. Mr. Rivera will have to serve at least 85% of the sentence before any possibility of release. Since he is a relatively young man, he has the prospect of being released during his lifetime.
The trial itself will be appealed, and having followed the case, I think there are some interesting issues that could cause the verdict to be overturned. One major issue is that the judge refused to allow the defense expert to testify about his opinions that the confession was not voluntary. I suspect the appellate court will have concerns about the Defendant not being allowed to present key evidence of his defense to the jury. Crimcourts will continue to follow the case.