July 5th, 2011
01:29 PM ET

Casey Anthony: What she's facing if jury finds her guilty

Jurors reached a verdict Tuesday in the Casey Anthony murder trial in Orlando, according to court officials. Anthony, 25,  is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, in 2008. In this high-profile case, there's a lot at stake. For the defendant, the verdict is a matter of life and death.

Anthony is charged with seven counts, including first-degree murder; aggravated manslaughter of a child; aggravated child abuse; and four counts of providing false information to law enforcement. As those following the trial across the country anxiously await the jury's verdict, CNN takes a look at all the charges, what a guilty verdict on each charge would mean and what kind of sentence Anthony could be facing if the jury finds for the prosecution.

If you've been captivated by the trial and want to reconsider the evidence, take a look at key points from the defense and prosecution.

And if it's a bit confusing with so many charges and possible sentences, you can always click over to CNN affiliate WESH-TV in Orlando, which has a handy calculator for figuring out possible total sentences depending on whether Anthony is found not guilty or guilty on each of the charges.

Murder charges

Charge: Capital first-degree murder
What it means:
If found guilty, the jury would indicate it believes Anthony planned the murder.
Possible sentence:
Anthony would face death by lethal injection or life in prison without the possibility of parole if recommended by the jury. The judge could overrule this in the sentencing phase but would be required to write an explanation for his disagreement with the jury.

Charge: Noncapital first-degree murder
What it means:
A guilty verdict on this charge would also mean the jury believed Anthony planned the murder.
Possible sentence
: Anthony would face life in prison with possibility of parole.

Charge: Second-degree murder
What it means:
A guilty verdict on this charge would show the jury did not believe Anthony planned to killed her daughter.
Possible sentence:
Anthony would face 16¾ years to life in prison with possibility of parole.

Charge: Manslaughter
What it means:
If the jury returns a guilty verdict on this charge, it believes Anthony did not mean for her daughter to die as a result of her actions.
Possible
sentence:
Anthony would face up to 15 years in prison.

Other charges

The jury must also deliberate on other charges besides murder:

Charge: Aggravated manslaughter of a child
Possible sentence:
Anthony would face a maximum of 30 years in prison.

Charge: Aggravated child abuse
Possible sentence: Anthony would face a maximum of 30 years in prison.

Charge: Four counts of giving false information to law enforcement regarding a missing person
Possible sentence: Anthony would face up to one year for each count.

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Filed under: Casey Anthony • Courts • Crime • Death Penalty • Justice
soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. vet in tx

    you must judge by facts, no facts = reasonable doubt. Emotions have no place in a jury, only facts.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • anne

      And THAT'S why the system is screwed up!!!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ann

    What this means is the jury did it's job. The prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Casey killed her beautiful little daughter. Without sufficient DNA,forensic or eye witnessess evidence to place her at that swamp before, during or after the child was finally reported missing creates a reasonable doubt. Do I think she did it? Yes....could I send her to prison for thinking she did it? Absolutely not. Well done to the jury and to her attorneys. I will continue to pray for this disfunctional family and for the jury as this could not have been an easy decision for each of them to make.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Art

    Thanks to Nancy Grace and JVM for sensationalizing this case to the point where no juror could ever have an 'unbiased' decision. Every one of the people involved in this case stand to make a mint off of the hype sure to follow. Giving her a cutesy label like "Tot Mom" made this even more of a joke. Maybe now we will wake up and stop sensationalizing murder trials.

    CNN – the news is interesting enough. Please, please, – these "personalities" do not speak for the victims as they claim. They speak for themselves and for ad revenues and ratings. They pollute jurors' minds with the possibility of a few more minutes of fame than they might otherwise get with a guilty verdict. They make trials into media circuses that citizens must pay for, both financially and psychologically. Shame on you!

    July 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      So true Art. They see money to be made.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TERRI

    really everyone is blaming her for this but what about the parents??you not gonna sit there and tell us you dnt think the
    parents had anything thing to do with this ???your are nuts!the parents are the ones that did it not the daughther.im glad she is off the charges and i hope come thursday she gets time served and is out by dinner time.and let the parents be charged and sit in jail for 3 yrs like casey did! goog for CASEY! CONGRADUCATIONS GIRL!

    July 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stacey

      You are ignorant! Why would the parents have done it? Moron!! Casey got away with murder and I hope someone kills her!

      July 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • SillyBilly

      *congratulations on your ability to spell words.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hannah Biggs

      I total agree Stephanie, I think her parents was part of this murder more so then Casey and I also think her Dad was molesting her from a young age.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • anne

      I don't care if Casey was molested or what happened to her as a child!!! That still doesn't excuse what she did!!! I don't buy the last minute excuse that she drowned!!! They just recently made that story up after the others were not working for them! This woman was a tramp that partied right after her daughter died! She is psycho!! Kids drowning in pool is unfortunately pretty common, and the parents don't go to jail for it!!! They would not even have to cover up anything like that!!! But this outrageous last minute lie worked out for them, didn't it?? I am sickened by her, her family, and people who are stupid enough to believe this worthless evil tramp is innocent!!!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joe

    You are all sick. Yes someone terrible happened to this poor child, but the state
    has to present evidence to prove a case. The did not present ANY evidence pointing
    to the mother. There investigation was shoddy.
    The real problem lies with the idiot prosecutors.
    They are usually the lawyers that are so stupid, that they
    can't get a job as a real lawyer. Bumbling idiots.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mab

    I will never have faith in our judicial system as far as a jury is concerned again. Short of Casey saying "Yes, I did it!" which never would of happened, what more did they need. I tell you, commit a murder you go home. Write a bad check, go to jail for years. What a joke.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. joe blow

    Here is a sceniro...you did not kill someone but you were charged for murder. Why wouldn't you testify to prove your innocence? The only answer I can see is that you are guilty. Why wouldn't you testify on your own behalf if you had nothing to hide? she did not testify. i don't get that.

    why lie to the police when they are helping you attempt to find your daughter? Why not report for thirty days?

    if i had a two year old daughter i would think i would know exactly where and when she went missing. Where are the answers to these questions.

    our court system is messed up.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • alb

      our court system has crumbled.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gidget

      I totally 'Agree' with you!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. SUE

    The prosecutors failed to convince the jury...plain and simple.

    She will walk on Thursday with "time served."

    July 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • alb

      that sick,,,but true. While she wasn't convicted,,,doesn't mean she wasn't involved. I sickens me that she could walk and knowing that child is dead.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. aputuway

    Anyway,I'm not surprise at all. Youth of this nation believes in the culture of death.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • alb

      how long have you hated your life to make such a statement. Today's youth is no different than that of any previous generation. somebody in your life disappoint you? to make you hate people so much. You're a sad person.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bubba

    Since double-jeopardy would apply... sha can come out and say "Yup, I did it...... and I'd do it again." and no one could touch her............ sad.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • alb

      except her neighbors.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      could not she be tried by the federal government for first degree murder?

      July 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. donner

    Bet the murder rate goes up in Florida after this verdict..Good Job Jurors...you can murder your daughter,lie to everyone,party instead of mourning your child,ruin your parents life and get Only a slap on the hand....Sick

    July 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. CM73

    Wow, had it been a dog, this would have been a guilty verdict. It seems like human life doen't mean a thing in America, God forbid.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pearl

      Sadly this is a very true observation...just recently watched a show where a woman in Penn. had 18 cats in a van. She has been arrested, charged and is sadly going to do more time than Casey. Unbelievable really.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jesus

    No matter the jury veredict she will face forever and to the the end of her days the creator's justice that never fails. God bless and keep the little Caylee soul in his arms forever.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JEAN HOPKINS

    THIS IS SICK NO JUSTICE CASEY WILL PROBABLY NEVER LOOSE NO SLEEP SHE SHOULD HAVE GOT THE SLOW DEATH PENALTY OF TORTURE.TAX PAYERS MONEY WASTED. THIS HAS BEEN A FOREST NOW A MOVIE WILL BE MADE ANOTHER JOKE NOT WORTHY OF PUTTING IN A BIRD CAGE. GOD BLESS LITTLE CAYLEE AND CASEY MAY YOU ROT .

    July 5, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Devils advocate

    This was the only possible ouytcome. They did not prove her guilt

    July 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • alb

      that's true,,,,there were outside forces tampering with the evidence.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
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