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. Sid Airfoil

    "Not guilty" does not mean "innocent".

    I have no idea if she is guilty. I haven't spent one single minute listening to this case, and only know what I read here. But the key point is still that the guilty go free if the evidence against them is not beyond a reasonable doubt. Twelve people, who heard a helluva lot more about this case than anyone here did, thought that there was reasonable doubt. Any comments posted here to the contrary are almost certainly based on ignorance about the case, and probably reflect an emotional need for vengeance disguised as justice. Justice WAS done here. But sometimes justice means the guilty get away with it.

    Sid

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

      Well said and sadly, true.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • johann1965

      What we need here is a reckoning.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Justice was done? You moron. Just because you believe your justice system work, doesn't mean justice was done. At least you admit you're too dumb to make your own decision.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • MnkeysRCrazy

      Well said, Sid. The media do love to swing the story toward the more compelling side of the issue, in this case that a mother killed her child. We will never hear the testimony the jurors heard and cannot pass judgment since all we know is what Nancy Grace and other polarizing members of the media fed us.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. craig

    There are only 2 possibilities–either she killed her child or arranged to have her child killed. If you're not sure she did it, she has to be guilty of neglect. The child disappeared from her care and ends up dead, and she cannot say one true word about it–when she last saw Caylee, where, etc. There's no way around it.

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

      Craig–False dichotomy. There are more than 2 possibilities. the bottom line is that the evidence didn't support the prosecution's case. It's sad, I'm sure most of us believe Casey Anthony had a hand in her daughter's death and it was probably deliberate, first degree murder. We don't have the evidence to prove that case though.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • jan

      WOW - thanks Craig, there is some common sense out there! Casey, by her own admission (???) claims Caylee drowned in June.........and knowingly allows her body to rot in a flooded swamp for 6 (!) months...... probably longer if not found -– not child abuse...Really! This defense looked for a "cranny" to crawl into, and like Casey, made it up along the way. Watched the testimony, not the media – plenty of evidence. Would not have chosen death, but that mother, and only that mother, is responsible for the welfare of her child – Sad!

      July 6, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cheryl

    I agree, you PEEPS need to stop using the race card. Hello, the president of the United States is BLACK. We all know Anthony is guilty. But she was aquitted due to lack of evidence. End of story!

    July 5, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CB002

    I am beyond sickened over the verdict because Casey killed Caylee, plain and simple. However, I guess George and Cindy are winners here too because they can now prepare for the homecoming of their child-killing, bed-hopping, lazy, lying, thieving daughter. I wonder how much they are going to enjoy looking at her face everyday knowing in their hearts that she killed innocent little Caylee. Now they can return to their jobs (the story isn't worth reading about now since Casey wasn't convicted) so they can support Casey while she steals them blind again. Cindy lied for her and wanted her home and now she will get just that. I guess there is justice after all.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      I agree with you. In their hearts they know she did it. How can you look at your own flesh and blood and know that she is a cold blooded murder.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. paula

    Thank God Thank God. Justice did win. She is not a murderer. You people are pathetic now you are going to attack and blame the jury???? Shame on all of you. I believe if most of you looked in a mirror and judged yourselves first you would'nt have the time to judge anyone else.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anne

    Casey was always bragging about her great looks, now she will be the star she longed for. Movies, books, etc.. Caylee paid with her life, so her so-called mom could achieve this. How sad for this little girl, who was discared like trash.

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

      Good looks? I find her rather horse faced .

      July 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gh

    As why she did not get out today? For her own protection. Face it some people down there have her as a killer before the trial.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Renee

    I am DISGUSTED as well with our justice system... Just because she is not convicted, does not mean she did not kill her daughter.. Guilty as ever.. I am sad that Caylee got no justice today, none. They had no other persons of interest what so ever.. None, but Casey!! I have two words for ya : Scott Peterson! Yes they happened in different states, but same similarities in the cases.. They both were liars. They never found out how Laci died, just that she had fractured Ribs, no cause of death, or weapon. The only thing they had was a piece of Laci's hair in scott's boat. Just as there was Caylee's hair in her trunk of the car. He went on with his life as nothing happened, spoke of Laci in past tense as did Casey.. He is sitting on Death Row! The jurors said what helped there verdict as well, was his reaction and no emotion in court. Just as Casey!! Yes, i know they are two different cases, its just one was right and one wasnt! I hope the Juror's can sleep at night letting this so called mother out! She does not deserve to live her life. They should have set an example of this case to other mothers, or fathers.. One day Casey will have Karma happen to her, and she will get what she deserves.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • geoff

      Renee, time to move on. It does no good harboring this rage. OJ was probably guilty, too. It happens. It seems a grave miscarriage of justice, true, but it is what it is. The fact is that 12 reasonable people looked at this evidence and decided there was not enough to convict. Our system is set up that we put our trust in those 12 people. They are probably right, there wasn't enough evidence. We can't execute people based on conjecture or our wish for revenge. We have to move on.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    What a joke. With the evidence they had the prosecution should never have gone for the death penalty. Of course she did it. Look at what they had, she is a sociopath who spent her life lieing, she was mad at there mother and frusterated with her daughter and the responsibility it imposesed on her. She searched for methods on the net, she partied away while her daughter was "missing" This jury was corr3ect in not impossing death, but she should have got man 1. The wole thing is a joke, now jurers will write books The Anthonies will as well as the Lawyers and maybe the judge. What of little Caylee, murdered by the very person that should protect her I guess money and fame trump justice.

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

    Hahaha - good comment! I personally suspect that Nancy Grace has made enough money through her show's coverage of little Caylee's tragic story to put her own kids through college. Further, why do Nancy's callers feel to need to kiss up and tell her how wonderful she is and then also pay homage to Nancy's twins before they simply ask their question. It's like they have to lay gifts of praise at the "feet of the goddess" before they can proceed with their questions. Wastes a lot of air time.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. judyg

    Sadly I thought this might happen because a juror who has reasonable doubt has to vote not guilty even for something as horrible as this case. I feel this young woman and her parents know the truth but whether it ever comes to light who knows? I also had questions about the meter man who found the body – that was not fully explored/analyzed. The prosecution just left too many questions unanswered. My impression of Casey is a self-absorbed, spoiled girl who was raised by a clearly dysfunctional pair of idiots.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Someone Actually Intelligent

    "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.

    I am sorry they did prove WHY! I dont understand what case he was watching, SHE KILLED HER TO PARTY. WHAT THE H***!!

    July 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. serious

    well said disgusted..the fact is she is the killer..anyone with common sense would know that

    July 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Darlene

    Forever we are told that our justice system works, but today I see it does not. This evil young woman will be released on this world again soon and with her narcissitic personally and her getting by with killing her own baby, she will be a great danger to society, those around her. Beware of Casey Anthony, she has destroyed her family, who's next?

    July 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bill rights

    We need to separate out murder from bad parenting. Probably few people find Casey Anthony likeable or acting responsibly, but that has nothing to do with evidence of murder. The main evidence in this case was that the mother acted bizarrely after the death, which could be explained any number of ways, not only from imputed happiness at getting rid of an unwanted baby. Just as likely, she panicked after an accidental death and cover-up, and forced herself to smile and act happy to try to put this sad incident behind her. All you need to acquit is reasonable doubt, and there was plenty of that here.

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

      man you couldn't have said it better. As i blogged b4, this chic is guilty as hell but the heart of a father in me goes out to her because she was still so immature and her parents were not helping at all. Am happy the jury sprung her and i hope that she gets some help, goes to see a pastor or something so she can truly make peace with having killed her daughter cause bad news is that the verdict doesn't clean the conscience.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
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