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. EricMatthews

    The prosection didn't prove the case against her. Its how our justice system works. All of you saying stuff about using common sense crack me up. Our justice system doesn't work on hunches, opinions or anything that common. It utilizes facts. They were not able to prove what everyone assumes. Therefore the assumption that she killed her although it is probably correct, its also POSSIBLE that she didn't kill her. To me, "common sense" would be the ability to ACTUALLY FOLLOW THE LAW as it is written. I think this Jury did that.

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

      if someone gets shot and they find the gun at your house..what happens? They found the exact duct tape that the dad reported and the search for chloroform.......you are allowed as a jury to connect the dots like they did in the Scott Peterson case. I think they messed up and did "doubt", which there was, and "reasonable doubt" which there was none.

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

      THAT'S WHAT THE PROBLEM IS–JUST FACTS–NO COMMON SENSE CAN BE USED IN DELIVERING A VERDICT. YES, I'M SURE IT MAKES YOU LAUGH HOW OTHERS THROW IN THE COMMON SENSE ISSUE, BUT THAT'S WHY OUR SYSTEM IS SO FLAWED–NO COMMON SENSE ALLOWED–JUST THE FACTS.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • swtnsassy

      I couldn't agree more Eric. I followed this case carefully and if I were sitting on the jury, I could have NOT have found her guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution couldn't tell how she died, how can they prove she was actually murdered? I feel in my heart that she is guilty as hell but I couldn't have convicted her on the evidence that the prosecution presented.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • TravisC

      thank you.... someone who finally isnt thinking emotionally

      July 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • lcs

      Exactly. Common sense used to convict people of witchcraft, because everybody 'knew' there were witches.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. p cherubini

    my heart is broken and i grieve that caylee has been thrown away without protection from abuse and a ghastly death at the heartless hands of the mother in order for casey to live the life of a party girl and not be bothered by a defenseless innocent baby girl. may this mother never enjoy another moment of peace.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. 2CentsWorth

    Agree that the jury did the proper thing according to law. Sad how people on here behave as though they in their emotive surmisings can draw conclusion from simply what they draw from the media or what they "feel". They don't know Casey. They weren't there. Thank God for rule of law, or there'd be a lot of hangings and posses out there. If Casey is guilty, God knows, no one escapes consequences at the end of the day, and/or justice when applicable. But, unless you can make some claim to omnicience, quit prouncing judgment based upon hearsay.

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

    A little bit of the blood on Casey's hands has been shared by 12 other people today. The only people feeling good about this are the OJ jurors.

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

    GEORGE KILLED CAYLEE
    GEORGE KILLED CAYLEE

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

      YOU'RE IGNORANT. ENUF OF U!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. FittedYankees

    this is further proves how messed up our system is. Im utterly dissappointed with prosecution, defense, jurors, and the system as a whole.

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

    She got away with it. If you can tell me that Caylee isn't dead then I can live with this verdict. Otherwise, can someone tell me how someone got a hold of (unique) masking tape not made anymore but Anthony's had, the unusual unique canvas bag in the unique shape (one was long and one was square...especially ordered from magazine in the laundry room, Caylees favorite blanket and a red Disney bag. and then explain how they were able to get Caylee away from her mother when they were living out of their car. Why the tape around the head ? And did Casey look for Caylee in bars because that is where the baby hung out all the time? Honestly who do you think killed that beautiful baby.

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

    A mother who had her daughter last – who partied like crazy & didnt report her daughter missing for 31 days. A daughter who treatted her mother like crap & accused her father of the worst possible crime, who lost their preciaous granddaughter. A sorry excuse for a woman has walked free w/ no need to pay for what she has done in life. I guess it all worked out in her favor afterall. Now she can party like the single woman she always wanted to be w/ no extra bagage to slow her down...

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

    If Casey were black, Hispanic, or Asian, they would be fitting her out for prison clothes right now.

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

      Yea, yea, yea......I knew that eventually someone would bring up the race card. Didn't work out that way for O.J. Simpson did it????

      July 5, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. larry

    I have always felt her father or brother were the killer or killers

    July 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Sanchez

      OH, LARRY–GO SUCK AN EGG! YOU ARE TRULY OUT THERE!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nisroc

    I have been saying it for over a week that Casey Anthony will be found “NOT Guilty” of murder and GUILTY of misleading law enforcement officials. I have also said that if verdict did come out as not guilty then society itself will find her guilty and this is what has been happening.

    One person says, “No justice for Caylee!” My question to you is, is society to pick the very first person we see to best to blame for the crime and yell Guilty?

    One person claims, “The Jury was stupid and slow!” My question to you is, did you attend ever single second of the trial, do you know about everything factor of what happened, do you take everything into account or just what you want to take in to account? Are you thinking only inside the box or outside the box as well?

    It comes down to the fact that people of society are going to find Casey Anthony guilty despite she is innocent. Her life will be ruined by society, because society only knows who she is and what she was charged with. The media has displayed how she lived her life that she is a liar and very irresponsible human. I do not disagree here but she has been found Not Guilty of child abuse and murder of her daughter Caylee, but society will not see it like this. Casey will be found guilty in society of murder, child abuse, lying, being an irresponsible person and society will punish her by not giving her a job, letting her near their children, look at her like she is an animal, and sending her hate mail. She has been found not guilty of murder and child abuse in court but will always be guilty in society.

    We have lots of people that still feel Casey Anthony is guilty. It is possible that she got very lucky and the she really is guilty, but in the court of law Casey Anthony is innocent. I do not think the court heard/saw every single fact to this story and maybe that is why society still finds Casey guilty. Until those facts are found and proven, we have to assume Casey is Innocent and as a society we have to give her the respect she deserves as an innocent person. Why? Well is it possible that Casey’s father had drown Caylee in the pool, then took her to the bush and made it look like someone else murdered her? If that theory was correct would Casey still be guilty by society?

    I do not care about Casey. In fact I think she is a snot nosed rich brat that needs a itch slap upside the head! Casey Anthony was found innocent in the court of law but the United States of America has found her Guilty and that decision will only be only over turned by society if fact comes into being that she did not kill Caylee. So the people of the USA get their wish of a guilty verdict regardless of Casey being found innocent in the court of law.

    Me nor anyone else can really say she is guilty or not guilty because the evidence lacks. The jury is not wrong or slow, they could not came to the conclusion that Casey might have but also might not have killed her daughter because of the lack of evidence. If the jury was not 100% sure Casey killed Caylee were they wrong to say Innocent? Put your feet in Casey’s shoes, if you were on charges and the jury could not link you to the crime would you be happy? Would you be happy if Casey was found Guilty, thrown in a slammer and then proof came to light ten years later that she was 100% innocent. Yes this works the other way around where proof could come to light that Casey is 100% Guilty but until Proven in the court of law she is innocent. That’s what the good ol’ USA is supposed to be about, Innocent until proven Guilty. Society does not see it like that, if society had its way Casey would have burned live on national television.

    Conclusion: Welcome to America where you are Guilty, Guilty Guilty! Thank God I do not live in the USA!

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

      We're really glad you don't live here either.

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

      tl;dr

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

      Nisroc Very well said. Thank you.

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

      Please. She did not report the kid missing for 31 days. Think she didn't notice, then she made up the babysitter/swimming pool crap. She is found not guilty under the law. However she should and will be shunned as murdering filth.

      I look forward to reading about her suicide in the paper.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • nightsun2k7

      Very well said, I have been saying the same thing for the past week also and i too don't live in the states. The state proved nothing and therefore she must walk

      July 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nisroc

      @ben I understand what you are saying I really do. 31 days could have a lot of theories that exist outside the box. I am not saying I believe Casey and not saying I think she is innocent but by court of law she is. How many innocent people are rotting away in Jail because the jury made the wrong decision. We see this happen quite a bit and most spend 20 years before new evidence comes to light.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Michael

    She'll get time served and no additional penalty. Which is the best punishment, really. Who will hire her? Who will let her live with them?

    July 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meena12345

      The same nincompoops who have been referring to her hot body and may be talk shows and book editors. This is one B-eatch who is going to get rich by killing her daughter. it SURE is turning out to be a beautiful life for her!!!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Akamai

    What does it say when the Prosecutor holds a press conference and says "Our justice system works".

    July 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Stunned

    Karma is a bit_ _! OJ got away with murder, but his huge ego eventually got him incarcerated later on. Casey will screw up again and will pay for this sometime down the road. We just have to bide our time. And may Caylee haunt you all the days of your miserable life...

    July 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ML

      Ditto for Joran van der Sloot.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colint

      I am white, not a football fan and soon after I retired I watched the whole OJ criminal trial on CNN. I concluded that beyond any doubt that he was NOT GUILTY, repeat NOT GUILTY. Most people got their opinion from the talk shows. Early in the process, before hearing the defence, they were saying he was guilty. They could not accept the defence PROOF that he was not guilty. There was evidence to prove atleast two police officers planted evidencve, one beyond reasonable doubt and the other beyond any doubr. You who did not watch ALL the trial would not agree.
      Having said all this, I think OJ is an idiot. He should have known that people were out to get him. He should have tried to lived quietly out of the public eye.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      All the weeping about the government losing and Case being the only "winner" is ludicrous.
      The fact that twelve citizens were able to wade through the BS and conjecture and determine that the state proved nothing other than the accused is an admitted liar bids well for any of the rest of us who may one day be falsely accused and
      charged for every offense imaginable by some public servant who lacks the moxy to venture out into private practice and

      July 5, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. AX

    GEORGE KILLED CAYLEE *

    July 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      By posting the same thing over and over, you're now almost as boring as that idiot who keeps posting the stupid vid with the butterfly.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense

      Well said, Sam. Some people (like Ax) don't know when to stop. Pity.

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