An appeal is very likely -- why not? The situation for the accused will not get any worse and generally speaking there will be legal aid available for an appeal in such a serious case. But having said that, the fact an appeal exists does not mean the appeal will succeed. Indeed, most appeals fail and I consider an appeal to be a "good" appeal if it has anything more than a one in four chance to succeed. Any final trial decision (with a very few exceptions which do not apply here) can be appealed as of right -- there is no need to obtain leave to appeal. Accordingly, even a very weak appeal gets a hearing. In this case, as Michael Lacy notes in the story below, the only obvious ground for appeal is the admission of McClintic's prior statement which implicated Rafferty. That said, the basis to admit such prior statements is very well established in Canadian law and it seems unlikely to be a strong ground to appeal.
Criminal defence lawyer Michael Lacy told CBC News on Saturday that he believed an appeal is "likely," partly because of the sentencing Rafferty faces, but added there would be more to it. "I think the appeal will rest on the trial judge's decision to allow the Crown to introduce the prior statement of McClintic," Lacy said, referring to a crucial piece of testimony that implicated Rafferty. "It's a special procedure that's used. It's a legal motion that the Crown had to bring to introduce that evidence, and I think that will be the subject of an appeal.