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. Pula

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

    July 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jesseca5

    She may be not guilty in the eyes of this jury, but in the eyes of the general public, she is guilty of killing her 2 year old daughter. She will never be trusted by any person in their right mind. Justice has not been served.

    Jesse in Texas

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

      I agree. Based on evidence presented, a reasonable person will think she did kill her daughter. But in law it's not about reason but about EVIDENCE. She's a habitual liar and I think she got away with murder until she gets to her maker. She can party on now.

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

      don't mess with texas

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

      Evidently, you were influenced by the shameful rhetoric of Nancy Grace and other HLN commentators who so sensationalized this story in their relentless pursuit of ratings. The National Enquirer provides more objective coverage than these shrill celebrities. Thank goodness that the jury was sheltered from this propaganda.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JT

    I bet every juror believed she was guilty of this crime but since there wasn't a video of her killing her daughter they let her go. Since it was a death penalty case they wanted something as concrete as a video. The defense could have said Caylee was abducted by aliens then later dumped in the woods and it would not have made a difference.

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

    Check your facts. The president's mother is white. Google her. Her name was Ann Dunham. He is most definitely bi-racial. I wish people would stop talking out their ears and actually know what they are talking about before they talk. Also – as for this verdict – if the prosecution hasn't proven the case, our jurors have an obligation to supply an appropriate verdict – whether we think she did it or not.

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

    This is a weird, bizarre ending.

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

      It's only weird and bizarre if you're a Nancy Grace fan.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jennifer Murphy

    If they had listened to Roy Kronk, they would have found the body way earlier and cause of death could have been determined. The fact she was not found guilty of aggravated child abuse is absurd, she didn't report the baby missing for 31days, how could that not be child abuse. I think she didn't mean to kill her, but she overdosed her on some type of sedative to put her to sleep. She will face her maker in the end. And like with OJ there is usually justice in the end, it may not be right away, but it will come.

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

      Good points & yes, justice will eventually be served. Karma is an interesting thing. It can bite you anytime but eventually she will pay somehow for her sins.

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

      Yes, justice will happen. Her name is mud. Who would not report their child missing if it were 31 seconds and she waited 31 days and only then when Cindy Anthony called 911. I can only hope she has no more children. She is truly a pathological liar, self-serving. Wish her much happiness knowing what she got away with.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tamm

    So what happened to the child? Who killed her? Why did her mother not care?

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

      The baby drowned. Get over it.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Akamai

    The mobs of people outside the courthouse remind me of old lynch mobs of days gone by. And they're all looking for their 30 seconds of face time on TV. The idiot news media needs to close up shop & quit interviewing every doofus lemming milling around outside looking for a camera.
    CNN/HLN - take note. You are like a bunch of vultures hovering out there. Take your cameras & go away.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. huh

    Their President? Isn't he your President, too>

    July 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Layla

    So the poor little girl was obviously murdered. But by whom?

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

      The girl drowned. Get over it.

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

    Its ashamed people in America want some one put to death. Or see a Guilty verdict. They go to car races to see a wreck, watch fights to see someones head bashed in. These TV announcers are no better they want ratings. This case was to see if this girl Casey was guilty or not guilty. Its easy to see that this could of been an accidental death and maybe she covered it up or someone did. But to volunteer or pre-plan this Death. No way. Sorry people Justice was done for this case. Good Job Jury!

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

      I agree with you. Nancy Grace and all of the media had Casey guilty from the time she was charged. Remember what Nancy Grace said yesterday about Casey not seeing the light of another day....Justice was served.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JT

    OJ looked for the real killers on golf courses and I guess Casey will look in night clubs.

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

      well said....

      July 5, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Now she's our burden

    Jose Baez didn't make a motion for her immediate release because he was afraid she would ask him to put her up for a few months! She was mooching off her parents for 20 years and has no home or job prospects until she can sign with a book publisher...and that cash will last her about as long as Octomom's did.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gerald

    People are not guilty because you WANT them to be! Get over it ! Unless you were there and SAW her murder her daughter YOU DON"T KNOW SQUAT. A Jury of her peers found her NOT GUILTY. Not a perfect system for sure. Plenty of innocent people are found guilty every day. This is a FACT acknowleged even by law enforcement. But from what I've seen of this case The only thing the state could PROVE beyond a reasonable doubt is that a little girl is dead. Nancy Grace notwithstanding! Don't be in such a hurry to judge people, it might come around to you.

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

      So, I guess unless every jury could SEE someone killing someone else, then they should be found "not guilty"? How incredibly absurd. The judge told them each & every day to use their "common sense" which obviously was not used in their verdict. Casey Anthony is guilty & there was no one else who had a motive. I hope Cindy & George never allow Casey back in their home again. I would pretend she was also dead & try to move on w/their lives.

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

      Well said.

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

      The 'well said' was meant to Gerald.

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

      I agree with you 100%! A week ago I was talking to my husband about this trial and said she should just take a plea and avoid death row. My husband said, "She's not going to be convicted. They haven't proved anything beyond a resonable doubt." I laughed at him. He obvisouly was listening a lot closer to everything than I was. Just as the jurors did.

      People need to get off their high horses, stop calling her the "tot mom" and stop letting the media and the talking heads tell us what to think.

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

      Gerald many people are convicted on a lot less...if the burden must now be 100% certainty, many more murderers will walk. Maybe 1st degree was a bit much, but they did have the option of manslaughter...let's see, Casey last one with her, car smells like a dead body, Casey doesn't report her missing child for 31 days...then lies to police...enough said.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike from Calgary

      Twelve jurors who could look every witness and lying witness in the eye, UNANIMOUSLY rejected the blood-lust and the over-reaching allegations of the prosecution – most times, 95% of the time, they just convict. If Casey was convicted she could join the 3 Million in prison at $50,00 per year. How many innocents have been imprisoned and executed.

      This ill-advised prosecution wasted pobably $5M of taxpayer dollars. They should send NANCY DISGRACE a bill. Those slandered by Nancy Disgrace should get legal advice about suing Nancy Didsgrace.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Eric

    Was the verdict form the jurors used on a butterfly ballot?

    July 5, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
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