Other shocking court verdicts
Casey Anthony, with her attorney Jose Baez, approaches the podium to hear Judge Belvin Perry confirm that she is not guilty of murder charges at the Orange County Courthouse Orlando, Fla. on July 5, 2011.
July 6th, 2011
12:17 PM ET

Other shocking court verdicts

Casey Anthony's acquittal on first-degree murder charges may be one of the most surprising trial outcomes in at least a decade. The Florida mom may have escaped with only misdemeanor convictions, but her acquittal is drawing comparisons to another high-profile murder trial: O.J. Simpson's.

O.J. Simpson escapes murder conviction – Police suspected Simpson murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in June 1994. The case dominated headlines and was must-see television. Between Simpson's infamous low-speed car chase, the trial's intriguing cast and a dream team full of legal heavyweights, the former NFL superstar was able to avoid conviction. O.J. showed signs of relief and joy when he learned his fate.


Outside the courtroom tensions arose. Some cheered "The Juice's" acquittal while others were stunned and suspected his fame and fortune allowed him to get away with murder.

Jury acquits Robert Blake - "Baretta" helped make Robert Blake a star, but it was a murder accusation that launched him into the headlines again. Blake was accused of killing his wife, Bonny Lee Bakely, in 2001. Blake always maintained his innocence and, in 2005, a jury agreed, finding the actor not guilty of murder. When the jury announced the verdict, Blake began sobbing.

Rodney King verdict sparks riots – Los Angeles already was rife with racial tension before the Rodney King incident. But the allegations of excessive force by white police officers were caught on tape. That had many thinking they'd never be acquitted. Jurors surprised the city and the nation by acquitting all but one of the officers. The verdict proved to be the spark that ignited a powder keg of strained racial relations. Riots broke out in the city's most urban areas and even the president had to get involved.

Fans rally behind Michael Jackson – Child molestation allegations again surrounded Michael Jackson in 2005, resulting in a criminal trial. While some were surprised the King of Pop was found not guilty, his enthusiastic fans never doubted his innocence. They rallied behind him, cheering his victory. One person even released a white dove for each not guilty verdict.

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Filed under: California • Casey Anthony • Celebrity • Courts • Crime • Florida • Gotta Watch • Justice • Michael Jackson • Showbiz • TV • U.S.
soundoff (264 Responses)
  1. Gman

    Though i feel she is guilty, i also think the jury did its job. This isn't like the high profile California cases where there is absolute evidence (Rodney King video, OJ blood DNA you name it). As long as you have no cause there will be doubt. As for the defense lawyers, they did thier job also and just like OJ's i bet they will have nothing to do with her when its over. Speaking of OJ, Casey may want to avoid the state of Nevada in the future. Seems that the uncovidted who go to Vegas stay in Vegas.

    July 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • disgusted

      There is a difference between doubt and REASONABLE doubt. And if you feel she is guilty and would let her go if you were on the jury what does that say about you?

      July 6, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Debbie

    I believe the media is helpful to cases like Casey, not harmful. We all want to get the facts, which I am satified that we did. Casey will pay for the murder.

    July 6, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. JakeH

    I feel the jury got it right. I believe the State had no direct evidence that irrevocably lead to Casey Anthony. MOST media outlets broadcast months, if not years, of biased, sensationalistic horse manure,. None worse than the once great CNN family of networks. Nancy Grace, Jane Velez-Mitchell and their various idiotic guests have barfed all over CNN's reputation for factual accuracy. The CNN Board of Directors should take the revenue loss and fire those two bubble headed bimbo's. But the most frightening thing of all is that, evidently, large number of people who watch these two bimbo's shows and actually believe the garbage coming from these two is BOTH "factual and true." THAT is truly disturbing.

    Dump them now...before CNN turns into "The Inquirer" of broadcast news

    July 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Colin

      Well put, couldn't have said it better myself!

      July 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lees

      Agreed! I almost stopped watchng when Glen Beck was on CNN but then thankfully, they got rid of him. They do have a couple more to get rid of before I can start to take them seriously once again.

      July 6, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • kite005

      Definitely agree with the Nancy and Jane comment.

      July 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Janet

    This is a very troubled girl. I think she wanted the child to sleep so she could party and she gave her too much of whatever sedation she used. She will never to happy and I think we will see another mistake on her part in the future. How ironic that her Mother might go to jail for protecting her!

    July 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lynette

      Janet, I totally agree.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Robin

    People must remember that based on the evidence presented collectively the prosecution failed to link Casey directly to this crime. Yes of course one's gut would say she is likely guilty of murder or perhaps lesser charge but that is not enough for a juror to convict especially on 1st degree murder charge. I personally believe she is guilty and having Cindy Anthony perjure herself did not help things either. That being said, "not guilty" does in no way mean "innocent" and I would bet that many if not all the jurors believed she was guilty.

    July 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Donna

      Well said!

      July 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • ccep22

      Robin, they had a chance to convict her of lessor charges as Judge Perry had instructed them and they failed to to do that. They felt she was innocent. It is Orlando, what a Mickey Mouse clubhouse jury that was. I do agree with others that CNN sucks on how they cover this but bottom line the jury could have convicted her of a lessor charge and they failed the system and the people and most of all Caylee Marie Anthony, RIP.

      July 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Donna

    I am very angry with the outcome of this trial I have been a single mother since day 1 to two children and not in a million years would I even think about harming them! I just don't understand the jury weren't they listening!?

    July 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • janelle

      Yes, the jury was listening. The prosecution charged her with a capital offense and was going for the death penalty. The jury was listening and never heard any proof that Casey murdered her daughter, and without that proof, there is no pre-meditation, which is necessary to convict on a capital murder charge. Had the jury been asked to judge on murder 2 or manslaughter, they may have felt comfortable putting her jail for 15-20 years. But that's not what they had to judge. Evidently, the jury felt they couldn't convict someone and put them on death row when there was no direct proof of guilt. While I also believe she had something to do with Caylee's death, perhaps accidental, I just don't see that the state proved she murdered Caylee with pre-meditation. The jury had no choice but to aquit. If you want to be angry with someone about the verdict, be angry at the state of florida that went ahead with charges they couldn't prove, rather than go for the lesser charges they could prove. The state went all in without the evidence to back it up. The trial was held in the courtroom following the rule of law, not in the media where personal opionions and biases were given as facts.

      July 6, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Phyllis in FL

    I believe the jury got it right according to the instructions surrounding reasonable doubt as it relates to the specific charges. If the charges were for lesser offenses like child neglect, etc., the verdict would have come back guilty and there would have been some justice for Caylee I do believe she was involved in Caylee's death and certainly the disgusting disposal of her body and that she will be judged ultimately. In the meantime, my hope is that all those who were dragged into her lies and suffered for it unnecessarily, should pursue their legal rights against her for compensation and prevent her from ever profiting from the death of her daughter. I commend the Goldman family for their dogged determination to make sure OJ didn't profit and to a great degree, they were successful. That may be the only justice that ever comes to Caylee.

    July 6, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • ccep22

      I believe the jury totally disregarded everything the prosecution said and proofed. That jury failed to understand "reasonable doubt" as the defense really confused them. As one of my professor said in law school, one has to have the knack to see the "Forrest through the Trees", this jury failed to do this and did exactly what the Defense asked them to do, "to look at each tree (evidence) and place doubt on it. Common sense was lost and should not be when one is deciding "reasonable doubt".

      July 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Derek

    prosecution would have been better off going for a manslaughter case with child neglect. They had very weak evidence on the murder, and while you can say that it is likely she did murder her daughter, you still need to PROVE it beyond a reasonable doubt. I wasnt surprised she was found not guilty, but i thought that it would be declared a mistrial due to a hung jury.

    July 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tiffany

      that's what i'm saying. she HAS to be guilty of child neglect.

      July 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tracy

    Jury got the verdict correct. It was so quick that it tells me it was not even close at first straw vote. One alternate also saw it as not guilty. 12 people cant be crazy. 6 weeks , locked up – lets live by their verdict. Also lets live Casey and her family alone. I fear people trying to confront Casey . Dont mess up your life trying to prove a point to casey

    July 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Name*brandy brown

    Look at what happened to Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelly!! The West Memphis Three Case. All three are innocent and has spent 17 1/2 years in prison!! Damien's on deathrow!! FREE THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE!!!!!!

    July 6, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Hamp

    I agree with Tacy. The jury did their job so let it be and I also hope it will shut Nancy Grace up about the "TOT MOM"

    July 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Tiffany

    ok, I understand that she was found not guilty of First degree murder and manslaughter. However, if your child is in your care and disappears, and you don't call to report it, that's not child neglect? She was missing for 31 days! Basically, this verdict tells the public that there is nothing wrong with losing your child and not reporting it. Good Job.

    July 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • somuchfor

      The charges were for aggravated child abuse, not just standard "neglect." Apparently there's a big difference.

      July 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • janelle

      But she wasn't charged with child neglect. She was charged with aggrevated child abuse, which again, the burden of prooof is on the prosecution. The prosecution would have had to PROVE a history of child abuse to get that conviction. Over-charged what they could prove in this charge as well. Had the charge been child neglect, then yeah, the charge would have been proven and she would have been found guilty. People are angry with the jury over the verdict, but if you want to angry at someone, be angry at the prosecutors and the State of Floriday that went ahead with charges that they didn't have the evidence to back up, rather than lesser charges they could prove.

      July 6, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Towanda

    Tragic all the way around. Tragic for that poor little girl, the entire family is messed up – while it might NOT have been murder – they (the family) all know what really happened and they will all suffer for it for the rest of their lives – and beyond. Tragic for the jurors – who all know "something horrible happened" but you can't convict on "something horrible". Was it murder? or was it an accident and then REALLY bad cover-ups and lots of lies??? I can think of several types of "accidents" – BUT it it beyond my thought process (if it WASN'T murder) of why the duct tape???? The whole thing is hard to comprehend.

    July 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. My3kGT

    For those of you who think the jury got it right, would you like to present any plausible theory on how Caylee died that doesn't involve her mother?

    July 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • somuchfor

      Jury results are about evidence not about what they think might have happened.

      July 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Priya 86

      It's not our job to present an explanation of how Caylee was killed. What is so difficult to understand about how the American justice system works? It doesn't matter what you think happened it matters what the evidence shows. There was not enough evidence to convict her. There was no evidence that Caylee was murdered. It is entirely possible that Caylee was killed accidentally (drowing, falling and injuring her head or neck). The prosecution should have never tried her unless they could prove her guilt. I agree that someone in that family probably killed her but I can't say for sure it was Casey or her father or her mother or her brother.

      July 6, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • janelle

      No one has to present any plausible theory. The prosecution has the burden of proof. The prosecution has to PROVE she is guilty of what they charged her with. No one has to prove she is not guilty. That's how the justice system works in this country. A person is presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty, and it's up to the prosecution to PROVE that guilt. Countries run by tyrants don't do it this way, that's why we do. It's called rule of law, not persuction by mob.

      July 6, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allan

      Janelle, I agree with you. In theory, that is how the system is supposed to work. Unfortunately jurors don't always get it right. The fate of any defendant is always in the hands of the twelve citizens serving. Sometimes evidence is tainted, and minds can be swayed one way or the other, so the rule of law, may not always be followed. But it is supposedly the best system in the world.

      July 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bobcat2u

    Well, she literally got away with murder. Now let her go out and steal a loaf of bread or get caught in possesion of less than an ounce of MJ. That should be worth at least 20 years. After all, The lesser the crime, The longer the time. Ain't our justice system just wonderful ?

    July 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • janelle

      Yes, our justice system is wonderful. In this country, if you are charged with a crime, you are presumed innocent until you are PROVEN guilty. You don't have to prove you're innocence, the prosecution has to PROVE your guilt. While it does seem that lesser charges have longer jail time, it's because it is easier to prove the lesser charges and get jail time. Had the prosecution charged Casey with what they could prove, which would have been lesser charges, then she would likely be doing 15-20 years. But the prosecution didn't do that, they went for the sensational and went ahead with a capital charge, meaning dealth penalty, when they didn't have the evidence to prove that charge. Plain and simple, you want to be angry about this, be angry at the State of Florida and the prosecutors who chose to go for the personal glory without the evidence needed, rather than play it safe with what they could back up and put her away for at least some significant jail time.

      July 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allan

      Janelle, Well put.

      July 6, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • MELISSA

      Janelle, you have hit the nail on the head with ALL of your posts. The public outrage directed at the jurors is just plain wrong. They did their jobs. If they are so hell bent on blaming somebody, blame the prosecution for being overzealous and overcharging and trying a case they had no shot to win. They have to PROVE their case and they didn't so the jury acquitted. I have much respect for the jurors who did not convict based on the flimsy evidence and lack of solid facts in this case. And the media needs to STFU and stop sensationalizing every story and only reporting the "facts" they want to report. Not to mention all the misinformation they give out. The media tries their hardest to convict people and then when the jury comes back with an acquittal its such a shock because they have told people throughout how it will turn out and that there will be no other scenario. Its great to know that people's fate is in the hands of the twelve members of the jury who are there every day and see all the evidence rather than by the biased, unfair media.

      July 6, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
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