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. David

    This is all the prosecutions fault, they can't be let off easy here. When your forensic evidence is garbage, and you do not even provide a credible motive for the murder you are going to lose hands down. I knew about 3 weeks in that they were not going to get murder 1. But I am stunned that they did not get the manslaughter charge. Casey's whole defense in a nutshell was basically that this was not a murder, but rather a manslaughter. Prosecutor should have maybe spent more time examining his evidence and coming up with a credible motive then sitting there laughing like a buffoon during the summations.

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

      You can not blame the prosecution because Casey was smart enough to make sure the body wasn't found until it was completely decomposed. So let this be a lesson to all. If you are going to kill someone just make darn sure you hide the body well enough so that no one will ever be able to tell When, How, Where or Why. Brilliant.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle G.

      DS – sure, Casey knew how much rain would fall there, how saturated the soil was, how long it would take for the water to receed, etc. And that no one would possibly suspect her when her sloppy lies were inevitably discovered or when the body was found around the corner from her parents' home.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Blakedabozo

    From the beginning I thought she would get off, as there was no actual link established between the death and Casey.
    She could have drowned, had her mouth covered to prevent fluid leaks, and the drowning covered up.
    I think the prosecution dropped the ball in not stressing more the consciousness of guilt, and for messing up the computer forensic evidence. There were TOO MANY experts, and that layer from Cindy's company who proved she WAS at work the day of the chloroform search should have been put on in order, during the trial. They confused the jury.
    The prosecution also may have overcharged the case. Why didn't they charge her with tampering with a dead body ? Lots of evidence for that.
    In any case she has ruined her own life. She is an anti-social, narcissistic pathological liar. No one will ever trust her. She will be followed and hunted down, wherever she goes. She is unemployable. She has no future, just because she dodged a bullet today.

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

    I don't think Toobin is very bright. He states "There was never even a theory of when or how or even why Casey Anthony killed her daughter." The how was with chloroform and duct tape. The why was because the daughter was an inconvenience to Casey's party life. The when was the last time she was seen alive up to the mother's 911 call. How can Toobin make such a statement?

    July 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eduardo

      Toobin is right...the evidence/data is inconclusive to suggestive (at best) but not definitive. No witnesses, no DNA, no fingerprints. Lots of holes to be filled on both sides, but reasonable doubt wins.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jennifer in NH

    I had a bad feeling about this case from the beginning. There was no physical evidence to present, much less any linking Casey to whatever happened to Caylee. The body was in such poor condition the ME couldn't even say definitively whether she was murdered. Unfortunately, that happens in a lot of cases. Just because CSI can tidy up a case in 60 minutes on TV, doesn't mean it works that way in real life. The prosecution had a serious uphill battle and failed to meet the burden of proof. Not like they did a poor job, the evidence just wasn't available. We likely won't ever know what truly happened to little Caylee.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • DS

      Can you imagine the conversation between Casey and her Dad now. George: Casey I still don't know what happend to Caylee....So please tell me what happened to Caylee. Casey: Lies Lies Lies and more Lies. She will probably be out partying this weekend. Makes me Sick.

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

    If you have a box and you put a mouse in it, then place a cat in it put a lid on it and tape it up, come back a few hours later remove the lid and the mouse is gone you know beyond a resonable doubt the cat ate the maouse. BUT if you come back and find a 2 inch hole in the side you can not say beyond a reasonable doubt the cat ate the mouse, even if there is mouse blood in the box. The ME's autopsy, relying on only forensic evidence and George Anthony were three holes in the box in this case.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jury of Her Peers

    HOW very fortunate we do not actually try murder cases on blogs or through internet posts. I have never seen
    such a volume of uninformed claptrap as I have seen regarding this case. The defense theory of accidental death was
    apparently more compelling for the jury – they who actually sat for a over a month and heard the evidence. You should not be able hand out the death penalty for getting a tattoo, or behaving badly at parties. However, many online geniuses think that would have been fine.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CinciKid

    Wow! I tip my head to this jury. I don't know if she did it or not, but to acquit someone who already had been found guilty by public opinion and this disgusting woman Nancy Grace in particular, is brave and bold. If 12 people can agree that she needs to be acquitted, than she either is innocent or the prosecution did not present enough evidence to find her guilty. Either way I congratulate and thank the jury for their time and work.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Andrea

    "Congratulations" America! So it's ok to kill your precious daughters and sons by narcissistic, sociopath or simply any evil and screwed parent as long as there is "not enough evidence" go for it, right? Where is the justice for goodness sake!? Next time you talk to that "charming" person that talks of her or his success all day long giving a sh... about "little" you and your "little" life hope you'll understand where the mankind's heading eith these "new trends"!! Ironically abusers may get longer prison time than killers..........sorry, but HUGE booooooo for this one, Casey is the killer to majority!!

    July 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • DS

      I totally agree. If you are going to kill someone, just make sure you hide the body well enough that it won't be found until there is nothing left but animal chewed on bones, and that way they won't have enough evidence to convict. Oh yeah and be a really good liar. This makes me sick.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ohmygosh

    This verdict is unbelievable. I'm not surprised she didn't get Murder 1, but VERY surprised she got off on everything but the lesser charges. Think about it....the smell in the car, her unwillingness to tell anyone what happened to Caylee, she didn't even TRY to find her for 31 days, she isn't even the one that called 911 to report her missing. Those things alone signify some type of child abuse or neglect charge if nothing else. Those are FACTS. This jury has done an injustice. A terrible injustice to this poor baby.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rosie

      She may not be going to prison, but she will not be able to live a normal life – her parents walked out ot the courtroom. What does this indicate? She will have to change her name, get plastic surgery. I wonder if she will be partying the day she is released – more tattoos?

      July 5, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bill rights

    Why has there been a presumption the child was murdered, by her mother or anyone else? There simply is no evidence that stands up for that. No amount of blood lust will produce any, either. You need to go into a trial with a free mind, not a noose in hand.

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

      Because no one puts duct tape over the mouth of a toddler who has died peacefully in her sleep.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • DS

      Well then, what do you think happened to this baby? Please

      July 5, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rosie

    What? How did this take on a racial climate? I thought we are talking about a mother who partied for 31 days before being "forced" to explain her child's disappearance an who sat stone faced for over a month while on trial. Yes, it could not be proven that she killed her baby or how it was done – but, the baby is dead and she is free. The jury worked with what was presented, leave race out of this.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. whatever

    Do you see this right here now if she was black mother that kill her daughter she will be put under the jail house , but you know that she is white and they didn't a good case to say that she did it they give her a not guilty!!! whatever bull@#$% I think!!!

    July 5, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. James

    Everyone saying this verdict is correct basically is saying that f you want to kill your kid, just lie about their whereabouts for a month so the DNA can disappear and use chloroform. You will not only get off scott free, but you won't even be charged for lying about your missing kid. Come on you guys! Jury is just believing a proven liar who had the duct tape, the chloroform search, and no remorse as she didn't even want to talk about Kaylee with anyone, including Dog the Bounty Hunter's guard who was trying to help the family. But, of course, the jury didn't hear that.

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

    anyone who watched that trial knows this...
    the prosecution FLAT OUT did NOT PROVE IT'S CASE...period end of story!
    It wasn't even close.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jonathan

    Toobin: "I don't know why her lawyers didn’t make a motion to get her out today". If you were following the case more closely you would know that she is currently being held in jail for fraudulent check charges which have nothing to do with this case. Another little tidbit the jurors don't know about...

    July 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry Weaver

      and those charges have nothing to do with the murder charge and consequently the jurors shouldn't know anything about them.

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

      Incorrect. She was sentenced to time served and probation for check fraud January 25, 2010.

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