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. Carol

    So I guess Cindy will be missing next, right????? I can't believe she got away with murder...

    July 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Have you heard of this new thing called "maybe she didn't murder the baby"? Just try to think that in your brain. It's amazing but not surprising how many people are so convinced they Casey is guilty of murder. Based on what? That she's a crazy person? That she lied to cops? Baez was right in his closing arguments: Casey was smart enough to cover up all the evidence but too dumb to hide the body where it can't be found? That doesn't make any sense. I live in Orlando as well and we have these things called Alligators all over the place. If you want a body to disappear forever, it would be very easy.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • MiddleOfTheRoad

      What facts do you have that would have convinced the jury that she was guilty??

      July 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • misstea702

      Carol...she had told her friends that her parents were going to move away and she was getting the house. They were phase II of the plan. They never intended to move, that was going to be her story.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      To Dan:
      the evidence is the duct tape and chloroform searches and lying about her being gone for 30 days.....unless you want all loser moms and dads to just kill the kids...hide the body until the evidence is gone and say they didn't do it. Come on man!!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJAMES

      Charged barely with nothing. I mean yes that is a huge wow. I mean I hurt most of the jury thought she was guilty but the law said they had acquit that is not true they could have gave her 2nd degree or 3rd degree and instead they let a murder walk and that is justice:) okay what ever.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJAMES

      Hey Dan whats next Baez told the whole truth on that George Molested Casey and That he Gave the Body To Roy lol... Okay Dude even if she accidentally killed her daughter then why hide it all? why not just tell the truth? hm I'm sure she really thought she would find 12 jury members that would find her innocent on all charges and there for she took her chances doing it that way:) lol buddy.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • kids having kids

      question is... what have we gotten away with? She got so insaney evil that she killed her own daughter, so be it. But she was young and immature. I'd like to get some of that good stuff you r smoking thinkng that she's gonna kill her mom. Give this kid a break and be glad that she skated the chair after being screwed by her parents. She doesn't deserve a second chance but she gets it anyway. Someone died for her sins too long ago!

      July 5, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mmmmm

    So who killed Caylee??? The Xannie Nannie!
    There is no justice...another sign of the times!

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

    Well that just proves my point that we should NEVER give any terrorist access to our legal system. It's not about if you have done the crime, it's about what can be PROVEN in court. The girl is free, I say leave her alone. ( but you know that's not happening) LOL

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

      USArmyOverlord: Casey Anthony will not be targeted for societal rejection like OJ. She will slip right bacjk into white middle calss society and resume her life, asif nothing happened. In ten years, the media will do a story where she is now, and find her being some surburban mom with two toddlers taking them to soccer practice.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nikki in Indianapolis

    From my perspective, the NOT GUILTY verdict can be directly attributed to the duplicity of George and Cindy Anthony. Their LIES helped to achieve the verdict rendered by the jury.

    I wonder if The State of Florida will now bring PERJURY charges up against George and Cindy, Daddy and Mommy Dearest...

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

      Good Point Nikki. 😉

      July 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • alumette

      they need to. They should be liable for some of these expenses that tax payers are responsible for.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • kids having kids

      i'd like to put on my couseling 'heart' andhave a crack at couselling this whole family! Obviously this is grand family dysfunction. You could probably write a dissertation trying to figure out the failure points that (allegedly) brought caylee to the trunk bound gagged and dead with a heart on the duct tape... just saying. but i think i might myself aggravate my dysfuction to and turn murderous before am through!

      July 5, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Anthony

    I'll tell you why her lawyers didn't motion the court for her release........even they couldn't imagine the verdict!

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


      July 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wildcatter63

      My thought. If I'm not mistaken she has already served more time than she would be sentenced to under sentencing guidelines for what "crimes" she was found guilty of... (I have a bad taste in my mouth that it is a crime to lie to an authority when not under oath...)

      July 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • kids having kids

      ... and this is why the lawyers best case imagination could still fall short of the final verdict; they did not consider Eph 3:17 also applied to this murdering b***t Case of Casey:-

      Eph 3:17 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power... to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
      to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

      July 5, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Keith B

    she will get time served thursday all 4 carry a max of one year a peice, in florida we have an 85% law which means you do 85% of your time with good behavior. She has 1242 days maximum penalty, shes done three years shes going home

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

      Yea, but what home? She doesn't have a home.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith B

      Home is where you make it.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wildcatter63

      That's my guess too.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJAMES

      Yep your right she walks on Thursday where she goes is a guess I mean will she confront the person she accused (George and ask for her room back? Or does Baez Borrow her money but watch his check book? Or does she do a interview for 100 grand and rent an apartment till she gets bigger money for her story and she is great at telling them. I just hope the American people boycott the news outlets that pay her. What is she going to say and why watch it it all is a lie.....

      July 5, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • kids having kids

      i hope the state gives her money back for extra time served so she could get a place while she works on a book deal or something. She probably might get stiffed is she looks for a regular job. Her parents should really make peace with her and remember they are the parents and you stick with your baby no matter what. I'd be glad to beat a murder rap at 22 too... that's the point, not that she's not to be held accountable.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dana

    Thank you for your straight up reporting and lack of belittling the work of the jury in the Anthony trial. Already the media is full of comments from attorneys and others who are criticizing the jury. How can we/they who are on the outside looking in make comments about miscarriage of justice when we have decided a jury of peers will hear information and make decisions?

    I am glad in a time of conservative thinking that there are some open minded people. Thank you..

    July 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • sara

      I agree. This is our system. The media was dying for her to fry................sick

      July 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • kids having kids

      "the media was dying for her to fry..." yeah especially legal commentators who were probably were jealous of this young partying chic. Well, just like i would she is going to fry... a steak when she gets home; hope she dont forget to pick up some A1 sauce and vodka on her way home. But b4 she fries it, while its marinating, she better get on her knees and say sorry to the two ppl she owes a repentance... Caylee and God. The worst thing she could do is carry a bag of guilt around, she wont need it, this whole world is rigged to make you feel bad and guilty everyday!

      July 5, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike, Cleveland OH

    Jury (n) : twelve people who decide which side had a better lawyer.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jimbbo

    A gross miscarriage of justice that will go down in history as on par with the OJ case.
    Let's hope there's "street justice" given to avenge the needless and cruel death of that little girl.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ali

      I concur and then dump HER ass in the swamp!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joshua

      Keep wishing. This murderer is gonna get rich from selling the story.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry Weaver

      and lets hope that if there is street justice that cops come knocking at your door first, after all, as long as the news points out that you made a threat then you must be guilty....right?

      July 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mekell

    My greatest fear is that many of these posters actually vote. How is it so many "liberally minded" people can find someone guilty with so little evidence and judge the accused AND jury for pete's sake to "die and burn in hell".

    July 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ali

      "die and burn in hell" geeze...really? maybe we should all lie in this world and throw our children in the trunk...that's much better...isn't it?

      July 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martyp

      hellooooo...where have you been? There is evidence...the jury knows she is guilty or they wouldn't have found her guilty of lieing and misleading the police..they just didn't have the guts to put her to death....if the death penalty were not on the table that girl would be spending her life in prison..and rightfully so!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oh NO

      Beg to differ. There was loads of evidence!! I'm convinced this jury doesn't understand big words and watches too much CSI.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandy

      @Martyp: It has nothing to do with peopl being liberal or conservative. I feel that most people including myself have a hard time wrapping their brains around the fact her daughter was missing for 31 days. Not only did she fail to report it immediately she elected to steal checks from her elderly grandparent, partied like there were no tomorrow, laid up with her boyfriend and got inked.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJAMES

      lol so little of evidence that is the best because I was wondering if I seen something 90% of everybody else seen while 10% watched this from Mars? That is so funny and to think a person could get away with the lies and all the hiding of this is not evidence but a way to teach our kids to hide the truth in the first place.... You should be very proud we still have the right to do that.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. kk

    At least they don't have to waste the money on the needle!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martyp

      they could have used a garbage bag and duct tape like she did to her daughter...no need to waste good medicine on her.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joyce

    Just shows how stupid, ignorant and lazy 12 Floridians are. Some can't pass judgment, another had an upcoming cruise that was more important than a little 2 year old girl and I guess the rest just had had enough of thinking - hence the no note taking. Unbelievable!

    Prosecution was A+.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. SHERI


    July 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Isabel

      O.k. my dear, let me search for chloroform one more time and...do you same some duck tape.?

      July 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. honesty


    July 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      What the... no one said anything about black people?

      Crazy rant...

      July 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • USArmyOverLord

      Honesty don't allow trolls to speak for a race of people. I'm black this is no way to prove that on this board. Don't get sidetracked.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Irena

    I'm thrilled about the verdict! Our judicial system worked. Whether or not Casey did it, the state didn't PROVE it. Congratulations to the Baez defense team. It was them against the world and they prevailed. Congratulations to the jury too. They held the state to their burden.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joshua

      "Whether she did it or not". Are you kidding me. So sticking it to the Gov't is more important than letting a murderer walk? I wonder if you would feel that way if she weren't a white girl.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shay

      Baez did not win. The state lost.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martyp

      well....it is pretty apparent that you don't come from a clean background...anyone who can cheer for a premediated murderer walking free and her idiot lawyers who were nothing but incompetent is not on the right side of the law. Like minds think a like...criminals support criminals...agains the legal system...right or wrong.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oh NO

      The State put on an excellent case!!! There were 7 not so intelligent women on the jury that most likely had a crush on Jose and rolled the five equally not so intelligent men to go their way, which is why it took a bit longer than an hour to come up with a verdict.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • CP

      Irena is right, the prosecution did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Casey Anthony killed Caylee. If the media had not covered this so extensively (ridiculously so) most of us would not have such a strong opinion that Casey Anthony was guilty. Our judicial system is Innocent until proven guilty and that worked this time–not able to provide PROOF on the part of the prosecution that tied Casey to the murder. The prosecution did not put a nail in the coffin of this case to convict. Sad situation as this woman is an obvious liar and no one will ever know the truth but her as to what happened to this child. Being a liar though does prove she is a murderer. And if she is, the police department and investigation should have done a better job so the prosecution could do their job better.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry Weaver

      Irena is absolutely correct, rightfully so, the burden of proof is squarely on the prosecutor, not the defense. I certainly don't want to dilute that principle of justice just to convict a person where the proof isn't there but everyone "just knows that that the accused committed the crime". I'm kind of surprised that we have so many citizens that have no concept of the principle and laws to ensure a fair trial.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJAMES

      Wow this is so sad that people could say weather is did it or not and even people that argued that is did but they could not prove it agree she did it lol. I think the law clearly needs to state in a case of hiding the body that is enough guilt... If you degrade evidence and we can not prove it then you walk is like teaching a blueprint into killing or hiding an accident in which most do not. But 31 days does not prove guilt being the last to see your daughter alive and only one to see her die is not enough and it should when you lie to elude police away from charging you with what she truly did and that was there when Caylee died.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
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