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. Mel

    200 hours of testimony... 10 hours of deliberation.... does anyone else see a problem with that?

    July 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • allforensic

      Yes, the testimony was so long that the jury was impatient and wanted to go home...I am surprised they found her guilty of 4 lesser counts...what a joke and slap on the face of justice...

      July 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • spm

      No. I don't agree with the outcome however the jury does absorb and think about what is being said at that time during the trial. Not everything has to be talked about during deliberations. The judge will give them specific objectives. As a jury those go through ewach of those objectives along with the facts/ testimony. NOT all of it is relavant – beleive it or not.. Have you ever served on a jury?

      July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frederick

      Yea, 200 hours of the prosecution wasting oxygen in a world already facing global warming problems.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJA

      All this means is that the DA screwed up and went for first degree murder. That was a big mistake. I though all along the the death was a accident, perhaps an over dose of chloroform. They could not prove any intent.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill in Florida

      No problem at all. It means that the jury felt that the State never proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. In that case, I was somewhat surprised that the jury deliberated as long as they did. Sounds like all jurors had reasonable doubt all along.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith B

      wasting our states tax dollars, prosecutor FIRED !!!!, rick scott FIRED !!!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • jackie

      There was no convincing evidence. The Prosecution and ME bothed the case.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • wild

      the medical examiner could not for certain say the time or the manner of death, she could not confirm murder/accident or any other type of death in this case, there for all you have it a mother, the last person who seen her alive and the police wanting to put this to bed before they had enough evidence to convict, you cannot convict some one of murder unless you can prove it was murder and since there is NO way of confirming manner of death, yes we all know that the mother was not all there, but what 22 year old is! they are still children themselves.

      July 6, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. Anthony did win

    Casey Anthony won and got away with murder. What "mother" has a daughter that dies in an accident and then does off to party and drink like nothing happened. They made a mistake. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that she is a compulsive manipulative psychopath and will kill again.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • MiddleOfTheRoad

      Casey Anthony's attorneys did not have to prove what happened. They had to show a reasonable doubt that she might not have done it. It's up to the prosecutors to prove she did it. They failed to do it. The jury's not guilty verdict is not the same as innocent. You can think and say what you want, but she has been found to be NOT guilty.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      For what it is worth, the prosecution lost this case. They did not have good enough evidence to convict her. After watching the closing arguments by both parties, I realized that she was going to be found not guilty. The prosecution had to show that she was guilty and they did not in this case

      July 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • wild

      middleoftheroad, they dont even have to do that, all the defense has to do is counter and prove wrong what ever the prosecution puts on the table, as a defense attorney you dont even need to have a witness, just a good set of lungs to question every move the other guy does long enough to cause doubt in the jury! and since the medical examiner could not verify means or time of death, er go no crime was committed, just a death

      July 6, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Suzanne Walcheck

    Casey Anthony got away with murder today. Shame on the jury. Now no one will ever answer for the murder of Caylee. A very sad day for justice.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Latherian

      No, shame on the prosecution for building a case on emotion rather than fact. I suspect that if they had put together a less Hollywood argument – used chloroform to keep her incapacitated in her trunk when... – they would have won. If you build a house without a solid foundation don't be surprised when it comes tumbling down.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tim

    This confirms what I've been saying for years: There needs to be a basic intelligence/gullibility test administered to potential jurors before they're allowed to serve.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • D Frost

      True! We are so mired in the "culture of victimization" and "it's someone else's fault" society that the majority can't be counted on to do what's right.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon H

      Or better yet, to have children.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill C

      Really? So if they are not as smart or enlightened as you they should not serve? Not too arrogant are we?

      July 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carla

      Agreed. They obviously picked the dumbest ones.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kookla

      People with intelligence are often dismissed from juries. In fact, I was summoned for a grand jury, and the defense attorney immediately dismissed anyone with a degree.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill in Florida

      There is such a test. It's the testimony the potential juror provides to the Court, and the decisions by BOTH the defense and prosecuting teams on whether or not to select that juror.

      You clearly have never served on a jury, or even been called for jury duty.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Has nothing to do with arrogance. If people will fall for something as absurd as "she drowned in the pool" then they're obviously not capable of judging the guilt and innocence of anyone.

      Some people will just believe anything. I say if you've ever bought a timeshare, sold Mona Vie, or replied to an e-mail from "The King of Nigeria", then you should be banned from all juries for life.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      Maybe you can list the evidence that the jury should have considered to convict her?

      July 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      "Has nothing to do with arrogance. If people will fall for something as absurd as "she drowned in the pool" then they're obviously not capable of judging the guilt and innocence of anyone."

      The claims of the defense probably had nothing to do with the decision. The jury based their decision on the complete lack of evidence the state provided linking her to the child's death.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • FairTrialForAll

      Interesting thought. That you go into a case as a juror with the ability to make a choice based on the evidence and not your feelings or gut. Burden is on the Prosecution to convince you....and they can't even come up with a cause of death or direct evidence to the dumb party girl. Stupidity is not enough to convict.

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

    She will be freed from jail, but she still has to face the world!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GloriaJL

    Going home–home where? If I were her parents, especially her father, she would never be welcome in my home again. Lesson learned–if you can hide a body long enough, you can get away with anything. Her justice will come–just not one earth.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle G.

      Huh, odd argument. Plenty of people have been convicted, even killed, for murders with skeletal remains, no cause of death, or even without a body at all.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. KCbird

    If you are guilty – be sure you ask for a jury trial, the most sure fire way to freedom. I wonder what the jurors will think once they get some 'feedback' ... this was NOT justice. So sorry Caylee Marie, you were murdered and nobody will pay for that terrible crime.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith B

      Yeah because you were a juror, they were there all day listening to the case while you would follow nancy grace off the brooklyn bridge

      July 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mark

    her lawyers were too busy swimming in their limelight, arrogance, and disbelief to think of their client. Their careers, as bumbling idiots they often appeared to be, with the prosecution objecting left and right, and their demands for mistrial, etc, should have exploded into nothingness, but now they are going to be top notch and high demand. This is a travesty to our judicial system. The lying woman had more to do with this than not, and now she is scott free. It's a "historic rejection" of what is right in our country and our judicial system.
    I'll be Casey says nothing, doesn't demand the murderer be found – because someone did murder that child – and will probably stay in that area of FL to enjoy the press and popularity she now garners.
    Another OJ trial to the end.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Derek

    "200 hours of testimony... 10 hours of deliberation.... does anyone else see a problem with that?"

    Nope.. the state did not prove it's case. I am surprised it took 10 hours.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janet

      Thank you for being the voice of reason. The state did not prove its case, although the 10 hour deliberation did not surprise me because of the three different capital counts the jury had in front of them.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill C

      Exactly. Do I think she did it? Yes. Did I think the government proved it beyond a reasonable doubt? No. Better that a guilty person walk than an innocent person go to jail.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • spm

      Sadly I agree!!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      .. and just to be clear, yes I think she was involved and her entire family lied in some way and are disfunctional. However, the case was poor and in no way linked her to the death. I am very happy that the jury did their job dispite knowing the backlash from emotional people.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. D Frost

    Unbelievable! She did it! What has our country come to? It's all about "getting away with it" instead of doing what's right. A tragedy for this poor, murdered-by-her-mother child!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill in Florida

      You need to do some basic research on how a jury works. Hint: it's based on review of the evidence - if any. It's not based on emotion.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • ARP

      D Frost,

      And you know she did it, how? Seriously, you should have shared your evidence with the prosecution. Shame on you.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle G.

      Yes Bill. Thank you. The jury is instructed they are not to base their decision on emotion. The made their decision – the judge I work for always tells jurors that whatever decision they make is the right one. That's how our system works, and I am proud to have the jury system. Our legal system is not perfect but its the best in the entire world. We can't change it because of our strong emotions in 1 case.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. gindy rains

    Part of the time she has already served is for her felony conviction for the checks she stole and then wrote on Amy's checking account!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Anthony did win

    After lying so many times! who can believe that she is innocent. This is not justice. I cannot believe that she got away with even manslaughter! it is crap. This is not a proud moment for our country and not a "good demonstration of our justice system" a baby died and no one is held responsible!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Patrick

    Anyone check w/ OJ? He might be in on this.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nevada Goddard

      They obviously have alot in common. Maybe they could get together and try getting a book deal. So So Sad,

      July 5, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. 2tired2care

    I only hope that her guilt eats away at her everyday of her life.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Suziem

      she will not give it another thought, just like when she killed her daughter, she partied hardy and didn't give it a thought then either. Unfortunately she will be very rich from this experience. It is a sick world we live in.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Sadly it won't. She is a sociopath devode of that emotion. She will carry on as if Calyee had never existed.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Isabel

      I totally agree with you!! She is the "good mother" who let her daughter turn black and stink in the woods and did not say anything. She will pay, don't worry.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mike

    "I don't know why her awyers didn’t make a motion to get her out today.”
    Are you kidding me Jeff Toobin? If they let her out they would need to pay for an army of security to protect her from the loonies out there who thought she was guilty and should be put to death. They let her go back to jail for her own safety while everyone calmed down and forgot some about the case and verdict.

    As far as those who say she was guilty, the prosecution could not even say for sure if the death was a homicide or an accident. How do you convict someone of murder when you can;t even proved there was one? People dispose of bodies improperly after accidents a lot of times. Like the 35 yr old man who lived with his mom and never told anyone when she died, just let her decompose in her room while he continued to live in the house.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
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