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. Blind Justice

    I guess this just proves the only people in FL to go to prison for murder are children. Adults get off.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sam

    It's alarming how many grown-ass people have trouble grasping the judicial process. The prosecution (the people trying to make Casey go bye-bye) has the burden of proof (they need stuff that shows she did it). They also must prove that she is guilty beyond reasonable doubt (they gotta show that she did it so well that no one else can say "You haven't proven to me that she didn't do it"). The prosecution couldn't even prove that Caylee was murdered.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Robert

    Anthony is very hot. Those girl on girl kissing pictures are a real turn on.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert's mom

      I told you to quit posting on the internets and clean your room!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meena12345

      Here you go – shows where all your flow of blood is going to!!!! Maybe you could hire her to babysit your kids.

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

      Oh, are you and the rest of your fellow jurors all going out tonight?

      July 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TAT

    Wow.....I seriously hope your name is misleading. God help any child that is under the influence of your ignorance, intolerance, bigotry, and racism. If you disagree with what someone says...fine...it is your right. But to maliciously attack an entire ethnicity, notice I did not say race since we are all the SAME race...the HUMAN race, is disgraceful. People like you are the reason why this country is having so many problems moving forward. Unless you live in a country other than America, Obama is also YOUR president. By the way...everyone is from Africa....including YOU. It is the cradle of life. Ever heard of Pangaea? Instead of spouting ignorance...do some research. That is what intelligent people do. You will find my statement to be true. So, Ms. Africa, please stop the hate.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. D Mumaw

    I serverd on a murder trial in Pa several years ago. It is not fair to the jury that they don't receive ALL of the evidence in order to make a informed decision. There is a lot of wheeling and dealing going on behind the scenes that the Jury never knows about. Because of the lack of all of the evidence, they have to make life changing decisions with only one eye open. The media and the general public know more than the jury....totally unfair! Why not let them decide the case.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    With this, will CNN finally take Nancy Grace off of the air?? After months (years!) of praising the system (and knowing full well that the prosecution actively helped to select those people), she totally disregarded the ability of the jurors to reach a sound conclusion. More so, implying that there is something wrong with those jurors, just because they reached a different conclusion than Nancy Grace-less is just plain unethical. She knows the prosecutions case was weak at beat, which is why she worked so hard to convict Casey Anthony in the court of public opinion-again, unethical! I am done watching any CNN product or visiting their website until she is no longer in their employ. Advertisers: remember the rule...if I took the time to write this, then you know there are tens of thousands of people who feel like I do who won't express their opinion publicly. Now, we will never really know the truth about poor little Caylee's death...

    July 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Pula

    There are prosecutors out theree who would try to sell ice to an eskimo.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Patricia D

    This is what I would like to know. Is anyone going after the "real" killer? Like in the OJ trial, did they ever go after the "real" killer? Everything stopped after the trial, but if these people were not guilty of doing the crime, the investigations into who "really" did the deed should be ongoing.

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

      Well, now that Casey is going to be free, she con continue on frantically searching just as she was doing when Kayley first disappeared!!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • MsNiceBucket

      According to Casey Anthony's defense, there is no real killer, Caylee was not murdered, she drowned accidentally in the family pool.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Isabel

      Well, her defense will hire her as a babysitter and will make sure to have a float in the pool at all the time.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      Ofcourse she did! And just like the rest of us would do: we ducked taped her face, put her in trash bags and dumped her, in the bushes, by the side of the road. A quick run by, not far from our house. That's how we treat real accidents!

      July 5, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tree

      Very true may have been an accident, but there is no need to hide an accident.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • JimmyJames

      Pat, in The O J trial, they had the real killer but were not smart enough to convict him.

      July 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. LKB11

    If you throw your kid in a swamp and emough time passes to erase your DNA, you get away with it. Lesson learned. If she had thrown the body a little farther, Caylee may have never even been found and Casey wouldn't have missed out on 3 years of partying.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Scot B

    Interesting how many people commenting here are so convinced of Casey's guilt and the jury's incorrect decision when all you've read is what the media reports and all the jury has read is what the actual evidence is witness testimonies were. Hmm... which do you think carried more weight? I thank the Creator that trials are held in court with rules for evidence and procedure and NOT by the popular media. Anyone remember Ruby Ridge? The media had that one ALL wrong and was being played by the Federal government, yet the evidence at trial pointed to the government's guilt, not Weavers'.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • LKB11

      Umm, the trial was televised and I saw every bit of it. Plus I saw the stuff they didn't see when the attorneys would argue out of the jury's sight. They made a big mistake.

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

    THE WORST PART...SHE CAN HAVE MORE CHILDREN...HOW SICK IS THAT

    July 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • LKB11

      I wonder who would date her after this.

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

      Lots of people would date her for the publicity of doing so.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Common Sense

    Apparently! Who knows what kind of stories Casey will come up with now. Oh, probably not, she will be busy partying and getting more tattoos.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Damien

    Instructions To the Jury: If you do not give a SH%T, Then you Must Aquit. Good job Folks, Pinellas County, FL is proud of you 12 and welcome you idiots back.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Chris McCoy

    She won and the government lost? More like Caylee lost, and her mother got rewarded for killing her.

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

      Yep, that is the way I see it as well.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Liberty Queen

    The prosecution did not prove it's first degree murder charge. Casey Anthony most likely did not kill Caylee. George Anthony had an extra-marital affair and let it be known to the 'other' woman that Caylee died in an 'accident that spun out of control'. Both George and Cindy Anthony are disturbed. Casey Anthony lied to police but I don't think she killed her daughter... I think George caused the accidental death of Caylee and tried to cover it up.

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

      Sounds like you would be as smart as some on this jury. What a miscarriage of justice this was. I hope George & Cindy pretend casey is dead because she would be to me if she were my daughter. Killing her kid because it hampered her lifestyle is not forgivable. No one else had a motive. Apparently the 5-6 people who testified about the smell in her car trunk meant nothing to them (or to you either). In the court of public opinion, (like OJ) she will always be guilty.

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

      are you for real...people have been convicted on less evidence...maybe the state should not have gone for death....but for this jury not to find guilt of at least manslaughter is a travesty of justice...for Caylee...Casey will rot in hell...

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