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. RAYMOND PARADIS

    THE BOTTOM LINE IS THE STATE HAD NO HARD EVIDENCE LINKING THE SUSPECT TO THE VICTIM. NO WITNESSES,NO DNA, AND NO BLOOD EVEDENCE TO NAME A FEW ITEMS. WHILE i HAVE LITTLE DOUBT THAT SHE WAS NOT INVOLVED IN SOME I CAN'T PROVE IT EITHER. IT BOTHERS ME THAT THE MEDIA GOES OFF INTO A FEEDING FRENZY AND WHEN THEY ARE WRONG DON'T TRY TO TELL THEM THAT. AND THESE SO CALLED EXPERTS THAT THEY FIND BOTHERS ME TO NO END.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sandy

    Casey's lies and actions ARE the evidence that she killed her child, intentionally or otherwise. She has yet to explain where/when/how she last saw her child; nothing she has said is true but because there is no/disputed physical evidence we have to let a murderer go free. NIce.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Casey's "Lies and actions are evidence she killed her daughter." – In no way does that mean she killed her daughter. Did you watch any of this case?

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

      I watched a great deal of the trial. I am also a mother who, if I was the last person to see my baby alive, would be expected to give police a truthful explanation of the events surrounding my last time with them. Making false statements about where I was/what I was doing, etc. with my baby would cause police to believe that I am covering something up. People lie to cover up something. The very least the jury could have done is found her guilty of aggravated manslaughter since the child died an unnatural death and the last person to be with her has no explanation of what happened. I am just very frustrated with the outcome of the trial.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mmmmm

    I believe Orlando boycott is in order to let them know the American people do not appreciated their lack of justice...another van der sloot debacle only to find he is and was vanderslayer

    July 5, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I'm shocked and disgusted that you would even suggest that. As an Orlando resident, I believe whole-heartedly that she is guilty but could not be proven so beyond a reasonable doubt. Let us know where you live and I'm sure that we can dig up some injustice that has occured in your backyard.

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

      Orlando jurors need to feel the weight of "their justice"

      July 5, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • John in Australia

      I believe the jury were brought in from Tampa.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. A. Jones

    Perhaps it's time for those so called scientific experts to formulate exact and consistant protocols for forensic testing so that it will be accepted in a court of law. Maybe Vass is an expert, but he needs to have other scientists to agree with his theories and scientists need to expand their research now to include off gases in trunks of cars and other scenarios.

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

    This just in, OJ is STILL not guilty!

    July 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gene H

    It is a shame that "Fredom of the Press" turned into "Abuse by the Press" Our founding fathers would be so disgusted with the way the news media treated this case. Everyone here that is saying she is guilty has been influenced by the press and your feelings have been distorted. You sit in front of the TV and listen to clowns like Nancy Grace with her little fits of rage and actually feel she knows something others don't. NOT ONE PERSON POSTING ON THIS SITE WAS AT THE TRIAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even little disGRace said that having 7 women on the jury would influence their decision for a conviction. I have to say that I applaud their judgement. They did something that not many people would ever do knowing that they will have to live with this decision till they die. It takes a lot of nerve and belief in the American justice system to do what they did. I believe in what this nation and also our justice system. All "JUSTICE WAS SERVED"

    July 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle G.

      Best post I've seen! All true.

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

    absolutely disappointing... There was less evidence in the Scott Peterson trial and he's on the road to lethal injection. She got away with murder today and her real punishment will come as she tries to re-enter society. Good luck getting a job and starting a new life. People will not forget her and she will be wishing that she was back in jail. Her life will not be easy – only she and god know the truth. Justice was not served today, poor Caylee

    July 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cynic

      Are you kidding? The sickest thing about it all is that she will be very well off financially because of this? Can anyone say "book deal?"

      July 5, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. cyndy auld

    The three Ws were not proven, you cant find anyone one guilty with out this. God bless Caylee, and god help the person who did this.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Seriously!?!?!

    there is no justice system... it's who can argue a better case.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Erisian

    If this was of true historical significance, the media would have said it was 'an istoric' and not 'a historic'.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John

    If his mama called him Clay, I'm gonna call him Clay....

    July 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. trisha g

    I can't believe that this monster was found not guilty! I'm a mother of two babies and I can't imagine life without them. My heart goes out to her grandparents R.I.P Caylee

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

    I can't understand how a parent would not be held accountable for a dead child that was placed in a swap after "drowning"....wait she was placed with her favorite blanket in a cozy resting place so she wasn't neglegent....ugh!!!!!! What a joke! Improper disposal of a corpse? Child abuse?

    July 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. goo6er

    Holy cow, that means a child killer is still at large! Since obviously her most important task now is to find the real murderer, she should contact OJ for advice on how to perform her own investigation. Between the two of them, I'm sure they'll find the real killers in no time.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      Yeah, maybe all of Casey's fictional/imaginary "friends" can help look for someone (who only exists in the mirror).

      July 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. James

    Sad ,Sad, Even if you believe the crazed B**ch's story about drowning, then why did she put duct tape on the mouth and nose? Also, if she drowned, then Casey dumped the body and thats a crime. Not reporting her missng is a crime...I hope they charge her with something else.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • justine

      @james...casey didn't "dump" the body....she took her time finding a nice cozy swap & made sure she had her blanket. She only put the duct tape on her to keep the bugs out. C'mon give me a break!!!!! If it was an accident...why lie for 31 days while all the evidence is destroyed by the elements. Sheesh!

      July 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
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