July 5th, 2011
03:03 PM ET

Toobin: Anthony verdicts a 'historic rejection' of prosecution's case

[Updated at 4:29 p.m. ET] Tuesday's verdicts in the Casey Anthony case - she was acquitted of felonies including murder, and found guilty of four misdemeanor counts - were a "historic rejection of the prosecution’s case," CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said.

"They sought the death penalty against this woman, and she got convicted of four misdemeanors (of providing false information to a law enforcement officer). This is a historic rejection of the prosecution’s case and an enormous victory – for better or worse – for Casey Anthony,” Toobin said on CNN minutes after the verdicts were read.

“She won and the government lost. ... In most courtrooms in the United States, if you’re convicted of misdemeanors, you do not get a prison sentence. So, the fact that the sentencing is just coming on Thursday - two days from now - suggests that there will not be much to this sentencing," Toobin said.

A lack of evidence pointing to a time of death and a cause of death for Casey's daughter Caylee was key to the acquittal, according to Toobin.

"There was never even a theory of when or how or even why Casey Anthony killed her daughter," he said. "There is certainly a lot of evidence that she behaved terribly, that she lied about all sorts of things. But in terms of murder, much less first-degree murder – intentional murder - there really was a big gap in the evidence, and I certainly expect that when these jurors come to explain their verdict, the failure to prove a time of death or cause of death will be a major, major factor.

"You can’t fault the prosecution for the absence of evidence. The evidence is what it is. But certainly those are the key facts in this acquittal."

Toobin said he believes Anthony, who has been held in a Florida jail since her arrest in 2008, will be released soon.

"If she were convicted of four misdemeanors in New York state, she would never get any jail time. She would get probation. There are almost no prisoners in New York state – which is the state I know best – who are in prison for misdemeanors,” Toobin said.

“Misdemeanors are not prison cases in my experience in New York and most other states, and I would expect that she not get any jail time. ... I don't know why her lawyers didn’t make a motion to get her out today,” he said.

The acquittals, Toobin said, cannot be appealed.

“Tomorrow, Casey Anthony can go on the steps of the courthouse and confess to murder, and under the double jeopardy clause to the Constitution, she could not be tried again," he said. "This case is over. Forever. Done. She will never go on trial again for this case.”

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Filed under: Casey Anthony • Courts • Crime • Florida • Justice
soundoff (818 Responses)
  1. Ed Kornel

    CNN commentators say that millions of people believed that Casey Anthony murdered her daughter, Caylee and were shocked by the verdict. I'm sure there were also millions who did not believe the evidence presented proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Casey committed the crime of which she was charged. Belief, fortunately, is not sufficient reason to convict someone of a crime. Since the jury is supposed to be a fair representation of a cross-section of society, our peers, and this jury came out with the not-guilty verdicts, it is likely that the majority of us would have come to the same conclusion if we had listened to the entire trial as the jury did. The media did their best to convict her and sadly, Casey, a severely psychologically impaired young woman, will forever be considered by many to be the murderer of her daughter.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Julie Weir

      PERSONALITY DISORDER: "Psychopath" See how good she is? GOT TO YOU TOO!!-She is the only winner in this horrible tragedy.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      Julie – so true, so true - another psycho dupes a jury!

      July 5, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. RandallH

    Getting back to what this should be addressing here, I take exception to Atty. Garrigos in his assertion that there wasn't any evidence this was a murder. A body found in a marsh isn't evidence of murder? How is that? We know she didn't just wander off to that location even though it was close enough to the house. The prosecution probably took too much time in trying to show what a bad person/liar she was. Casey was the last person with that little girl.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. John Pazz

    Imbeciles that cannot connect the dots. No one was guilty. No one was murdered. No one put poor little Caylee into a bag and tossed her in the woods. A triumph for the criminal justice system! Only if you believe someone should get away with murder since "proof" seems to need a video tape and a signed confession.

    July 5, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. amused in tampa

    The entire HLN news team, including their "experts" have proven themselves to be fools. They fanned the flaming hype and sensationalism to promote their objective: to create entertainment. Any intelligent person with an average understanding of the law would have known that she should not be convicted due to the lack of tangible evidence. After-the-fact the pundits are now collectively saying the verdict is correct due to the lack of evidence. Where were they these past six weeks while all the HLN clowns were proclaiming her guilty. If they're so smart why didn't they state weeks ago that the prosecution's case was week. Defense attorney Mason was absolutely right to scold the media and their experts.

    July 5, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Julie

    The juries in this country are stupid (OJ Simpson's case – a case in point). Emotions instead of facts were the reason for their decision. This proves to would-be murderers in this country that all they have to do is stall with lies long enough for the body to decompose. Then even though the body was obviously in the back of their particular car, there is a sticker and tape on the body that is from their home and they did web searches on how to kill someone, none of that will matter since the body has decomposed. I am sickened that another killer got away with murder due to pure lies and stall tactics.

    July 5, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • lorne

      Actually Julie the only juries which are stupid are the ones you disagree with. You are pathetic because you are so sure you are right even though the 12 members of the jury heard all of the evidence from the beginning unlike yourself and your good friend Nancy (Complete Idiot) Grace.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. GGalvinNY

    .01% Jusice: Casey now has to spend the rest of her life despised by her former boyfriend, fiance, friends, parents, brother, america, etc. etc.. She is alone. Even though she WILL be making millions from book deals, she has to live with the FACT that she is 100% guilty of her own daughters death. She is going to live a sad and lonely life....

    July 6, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kathy

      Let us all pledge right now to boycott anything in the future affording Ms. Anthony any fame or monetary gain. She murdered her daughter, we all know it. The only thing we can control now is she doesn't actually get rich in addition to having her freedom, her "beautiful life", while her daughter turns to dust in the ground.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jay K

    I don't quite understansd the "outrage" & "disappointment" that everyone is having over the verdict. Yes, we all feel sympathy for Caylee, however having watched the trial from the start and setting aside all the emotional testimony & theories, the State failed to demonstrate & prove (with any physical evidence) that it was Casey that actually commited the crime. Yes, she is a very skilled liar, but one would tend to think that if you were facing the death penalty, if you were actually guilty, you would eventually break, come clean and go for some kind of plea deal. She quite possibly knows what happened, it's highly probable, but with no physical evidence directly linking her to the crime, the jury did the right thing. My opinion, the State should have done a little more investigating before they actually charged her – They may have gotten a conviction then.

    July 6, 2011 at 1:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. danw5

    What do you do if your daughter drowns? You reach for some duct-tape? This jury knew nothing about child abuse and obviously could not see the forest for the trees. Caylee is dead. Of that there is no doubt. Mom was partying, of that there is no doubt. Anthony said she drowned. What does one do when your daughter drowns. How about calling 911? She did it, of that there is no doubt. I would not buy this psychopathic, cry on demand, liar for one minute. I investigated 3,000 cases of child abuse and I can tell you she is guilty as hell. Wish I was on the Jury!

    July 6, 2011 at 3:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charles

      Did you ever write a court report based totally on the fact or did you allow your religious or political views to color your definition. No matter what you think of Casey Anthony your definition of what a parent should be does not provide an objective basis for reporting of facts. Christianity is NOT a factual report. I have written some reports in my day.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. Muffy

    People actually believe in the CSI effect? Funny and sad.

    July 6, 2011 at 5:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Brennen Casey

    (to the people that get it)

    I feel emotionally drained from this.

    (to the people that question the verdict in any way)

    evidence??? look at her god damned eyes and mouth, if thats not evidence enough for you, your eyes are closed.

    and whos seen the devils advocate?

    (to the idiots) *kanazawabill

    July 6, 2011 at 6:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. katharine

    Yes I heard that comment that no one in america was happy about this verdict well I am was thrilled with this verdict because there was no evidence to support this verdict and I was proud of the jurors and actually a little surprised and pleased that 12 jurors could actually look at the basic facts which is you cant tell us how caylee died where and why june 16th and their motives at the end did not make sense so I can understand why they would discredit them. Their was no reason for casey to kill her daughter explained in a believable sense so reasonable doubt.

    July 6, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. katharine

    the case is over those upset need to deal with it and move on I think people wanted to see her get death to feel better but that is not going to happen and even had a jury convicted her the case would have been turned over on appeal so she is a free women and looking at how horrible americans are being she will probably get death threats and have to live with armed guards and never be able to do anything. So in an sense she will still be in prison.

    July 6, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charles

      Casey will, if all you say is true, live like George W. Bush does except that she is not guilty of a crime against a human and that is not the case with our former president. If he leave America he will be arrested by Interpol and tried in World Court for his crimes against humanity.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. Callen D'Angelo

    Perhaps America should not be ashamed of their judicial system, the jurors or the verdict; Maybe they should be more embarrassed by the hatred, revenge and racism pouring out of their computers and posts to the media. Leave the jurors alone. They did their job and they made the correct decision based on the lack of evidence and lack of ability to verify when, where and how the incident took place. You can't even validate that a homicide even took place and this whole nation is prepared to kill Casey Anthony. Although known to be a liar, and certainly to not grieve in a way consistent with most, we don't know what is in the defendant's past. The prosecution failed to make their case. Please don't tell me that you all know who did it when there is not one piece of solid evidence to validate the time, location and most importantly the cause of death of this child. Why is it so difficult to accept that the system worked in the exact fashion it was designed to function when "innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt" was implemented? I personally commend the jury for making the difficult but certainly correct decision. Though an unpopular decision, you did your job and fulfilled your civic duty to the highest standard!!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Warren

    Can she be tried in Federal Court for violating her daughter's civil rights? Wasn't that strategy used in the 60's to bring justice to Klansmen that couldn't be convicted in state court?

    July 6, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. norma

    Its pretty pathetic that Casey's lawyers think 14 jurors made a right decision, which doesn't mean that millions have to think they know what's true! Someone said this was an accident or a homicide!!! This little girl – whether she drowned (which doesn't require chloroform or duct tape) did not wrap herself in a blanket, put tape over her mouth and jump in the trunk of her mother's car to just sleep away. She didn't change her clothes from pajamas or a swim suit to the clothes she had on in the garbage bag; George had nothing to do with this or he would have called 911. If Cindy would lie for her daughter on the stand, who's to say she didn't make them all lie about it. There's only one person who knows for sure, and that's Casey. Write a book? Does anyone thing she's going to tell what really happened?? How anyone with half a brain could have any doubt that she's the only guilty one is beyond me. She pulled off the perfect crime and maybe her new job can be to teach others like her how she did it without being prosecuted. Some rich guy will marry her so he can hire security for her the rest of her life. Then maybe she could have a few more children to love!!!

    July 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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