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. Gary Gamble

    This woman killed her baby. There is plenty of evidence for me to convict. Baby is missing, mom lies about it, baby turns up dead disposed in the woods. Connecting the dots is pretty easy, I have no doubt, let alone a reasonable doubt.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • spocksbrain

      You sure the grandfather and/or grandmother aren't involved counselor?

      July 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Theo Hodge

      Amen......this is all I am saying....common sense.......where did these jurors get their brains from or maybe it was another reason why they let a pretty white girl go free

      July 5, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DSS

    This was totally the procescuters fault. They wanted this to be a death penalty case? ... Manslaughter should have been the charge and would have gotten it. Too many people in this country believe the crap science they see on CSI television shows. In the end with the prosecutors laughing at her attorney they saw through all the phony science they laid out and was shown to be what it was... Junk, made up science experiments. I believe she was involved in this murder... but you if they wanted to be actors on TV, then they needed to be in Hollywood CA and not prosecutors in Florida. Justice was not served ... also blam the media on this making it a TV drama show. Yes we have open trials, but should not be a blow by blow analysis like a tennis match shown all over the world. I hope these procescutors are charged with wasting the taxpayers money.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray B

      Manslaughter was an option and this idiotic jury rejected it.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mickey

    how can this be? Nancy Grace already convicted her....

    July 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geesh

      HAHA

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

      Ooh, no kidding. I could swear I heard Nancy Grace's head explode right after that ridiculous verdict!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marge

    May she be haunted forever for the deed she has done and got away with. She tried everything, blaming her father, her brother, the guy who found the body. She will be punished if not by the court, by the rest of her miserable life.

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

      Are you kidding...people without a conscience will not have a miserable life. Casey's about to party like its 1999.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mavis

    What the hell is happening to the American conscious when we are letting baby killers walk free. If this jury verdict doesn't prove it is time we required our jurors to have an IQ level higher that isn't below room temperature, I don't know what does.

    Also, it is about time that talk shows aren't permitted to discuss murder trials and high profile trials on air until the jury is sequestered. Nancy Grace has turned the stomachs of most Americans discussing 'tot mum' for the last three years, to the point where people were actually rooting for the child killer. I wonder how many of them were actually on that jury today. You can expect more of these disgusting verdicts in America if this trend of on-air trial by public opinion continues. Today, the American jury system is in shambles and a disgrace.

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

      That's true....they never get convictions in high profile, televised trials. Common sense somehow goes out the window.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. marcia

    the rule of Law is obviously not justice. If Casey were poor,black,ugly,or stupid....she would have been found guilty. Lady Justice is weeping!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Weezie

    This was never a case about race, please stop using race as a reason for the verdict. They just didn't have all the evidence they needed to convict, but we all know, she killed that baby so that she could get her life back. Caylee held her back from doing the things she wanted to do, now she's free to do just that. Party!! with no ties.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray B

      If they didn't have enough evidence, then what led you to that conclusion. I would argue that your conclusion is based on the fact that they DID have enough evidence. It was simply a moronic jury (like many) that was too lazy to connect the dots.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. beermorebeer

    Nancy Grace: "er.. er.. t-tot mom"?
    Casey Anthony: "Yes. I've come to stick those words where the sun don't shine"
    Nancy Garce: " err.. go easy–would you...p-please..."

    July 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jennifer Sweetman

    I woder where peoples common sense has gone. She is more guily than not guilty. I am sure we will see more
    and hear more of this young woman, as people like her cannot help themselves and eventually show themselves
    for what they are.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • spocksbrain

      More guilty than not guilty is not beyond a reasonable doubt. You don't convict on murder for "she seems guilty."

      July 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Clearwater Sucks

    The only reason there was no time / cause of death was because the body was allowed to decompose for 6 mos. The reason that happened is because the child wasn't reported missing for a month & the police were told the child was kidnapped by a fake babysitter BY CASEY. Both of those facts should have taken the place of time/cause of death since SHE alone was the one who made sure the jury would never know the time/cause of death.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • jk

      Unreal! I can't believe it. Ms. Anthony is probably glad I wasn't on the jury. She is so guilty and the sad part is she is so willing to live with that guilt. Now she is free to lead the 'good life'. Very sad. I totally disagree with the jury.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerre George

      If having your child missing for a month and not doing anything about it is not child abuse, I don't know what is. People get their children taken away from them for leaving them unattended at home while the parent goes to the store. I can understand that there wasn't enough direct evidence for a murder conviction, but not guilty of child abuse? Jeesh! Who are these people?

      July 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. AX

    GEORGE KILLED CAYLEE

    July 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • huh

      George killed Cayley based on what? Even less "evidence" than what was presented against Casey? And that evidence is only what Casey says, Casey, a conviced liar.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sandy

    Common sense should have been the only thing necessary to convict Casey Anthony. Why should the state have to prove anything? Casey's actions should have convicted her. Why can't juries convict based on a preponderance of reason and sensibility? This verdict doesn't prove she didn't kill her daughter...it just proves how flawed our judicial system is.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • GG

      Thank you! Finally someone else who has a brain out there. Sheesh – the little girl didn't duct tape her own face, jump in a garbage bag, drive herself to the swamp and jump out of the car? Some people have no sense of reason what so ever.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • lcs

      I hope you are not serious. Certainly the state has to prove their case with hard evidence. Otherwise hearsay and conjecture would convict people wrongly more often than not.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Anyone know if you can be charged with not reporting a child missing for 30 days? That's why they can't prove case, the dna left. I guess future crooks in Florida will try this method since connecting the dots doesn't matter. It sure did matter for Scott Peterson as the evedence was just as bad.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cougargal

      Thank you Sandy!! I completely & TOTALLY could not agree with you more!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • ^^ not very bright

      You are truly a shining example of idiocy if you actually believe this. The reason that we have the greatest justice system on the planet is because every single person is innocent until proven guilty. That includes Casey Anthony, and the prosecution had absolutely zero evidence.

      It was a victory for the justice system, albeit at the expense of a young girls life.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • GG

      @ICS – I understand your point. That said – I don't think you need to have video tape of the murder to prove that someone actually did it. It all starts with a dead baby girl. Someone put the duct tape over her mouth. Someone put her in a bag, and Someone dumped her little body in the swamp to rot!

      That Someone was sadly her own mother. I can't think of a more wretched crime than the one she has committed.

      I'm sure her dreams will be haunted by what she did for the rest of her miserable life.

      It's not the emotional aspects that lead me to believe she did it – it's the facts of the case and her ridiculous story.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Because our country is based on laws. Duh!!!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jason

    These jurors were pulled off the street, out of soup kitchens, and plucked off the playgrounds at midnight. Most never wanted to be on the jury to begin with. Then, they got tired, overwhelmed, confused, and just wanted it to end. (Sound familiar?...1995....OJ?). OK, you say the prosecutor didn't "prove murder 1." That means she goes free? At what point does logic and common sense enter? "if the glove don't fit, you must acquit." Remember as we watched OJ almost writh in pain trying to stuff his hands in the gloves? Great acting job...but then again, he was an actor for years prior to the trial....well taught I might add. Well, aside from Casey's lies and abhorent behavior, one must only ask the question..."How would I react if my 2 year old went missing? As a parent, no need to answer, we already know. But if Casey sticks to the tory of a drowning, then she should STILL be guilty in a cover-up and disposal of a body. Correst? Come on all you legal minds out there, answer that one!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Maybe – but thats not 1st degree murder. Wrong charge.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • lcs

      The prosecutors brought the wrong charge. 1st degree was impossible to prove from the get-go. Manslaughter could have stuck.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Can you PROVE these jurors were pulled off the street, out of soup kitchens, and plucked off the playgrounds at midnight? If not, YOU just lost your argument just like the prosecution.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Odlaniger

    Not guilty does not mean innocent.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • MAngeline

      Truer words were never spoken. Not guilty is definitely not innocent. I do believe that like OJ we have not heard the last of Casey. Like OJ, she is dysfunctional. She will make another mistake because of her desire to live life on the edge. To be continuied...

      July 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Debra

    I'm sorry, I just can't get that little girls face out of my mind. I do not believe that George took his granddaughter and thru her body in the woods to be eaten by bugs and and animals 15 houses down from his house. Now she will get movie of the week deals and interviews , she's going to be making money to party on from her crime. If anybody wants to get away with murder nowdays all you have to do is be young and pretty and oh yeah LIVE IN FLORIDA OR CALIFORNIA. Everyday I say what happened to our country and our justice system. They are both so screwed up that the criminals have more rights than the victim, poor Caylee. Casey Anthony God will deal with you one day, because no matter how much you snotted up the courtroom with your lies, you and God and I know you are guilty.

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