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. Ayanna

    Sure Casey killed her child, but luckily (from a legal standpoint), for the first time in a while, the jury actually followed the LAW instead of their hearts. By the way, be prepared to hear Nancy Grace scream into the tv for the next 12 hours about the 'injustice'.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • cheekbrown

      Nancy Grace, Mark Eiglarsh, Judge Alex, so-called Dr. Drew. All morons on a witch hunt. Follow the evidence. If the evidence is not there, it's not there. Period. How can someone be convicted of murder if you don't even know how they died?

      July 5, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tony g

    This is a white version of the O.J. trial

    July 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrea

      I was thinking the same thing...no different...

      July 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff

    They never had a case. They seemed like they pressed charges based on news reports. They sure did not do it based on evidence, because they presented none. When the government pursues a case based on the news, the only outcome is that they fail to make their case!
    All the fake "experts" who spout their feelings as support of their view of the outcome on all the networks are now made to look foolish. The major news shows should put themselves on notice that, the opinion that flows in favor of the feelings of the masses, should be avoided at all costs. Even if the "expert" is a lawyer. Nancy Grace is the foremost of those since she has her own show. To her, everyone is guilty of everything.
    Thank goodness that the jury was sensible enough to base their verdict on the evidence, or in this case, the total lack thereof.
    With all the hype and hoopla of the phony pundits and seers, the public is now befuddled because they've been led down a path of fantasy and hype by the only source of information- and I use that term loosely- is the news!
    It really is a shame.
    Justice prevails, our system is not broken, though it may need a tune-up.
    This is the correct verdict for this case. Anything else would have been a sham.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJAMES

      LOL Jeff you crack me up.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • angelr

      @ Jeff – I agree. I don't understand how people can make judgments with out ALL of the information. The jury heard everything and it wasn't through a commentary but front row and center. I trust that armed with all the information they made a legal decision and mot an emotional one ( Thank God). I'm glad to see that there are still some people in america that believe in our justice system and are willing to abide its rules. I am sure with all the mothers on that jury that had to be outrage at that young ladies behavior (a moral issue) but they understood that she was on trail for legal issues (murder).

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

    I am sick to my stomach. Those 12 jurors are wrong,She is guilty. As a Mom, her job was to protect little Caylee
    and she failed at that. If she killed her or not. she is still guilty.
    If you are a parent or not, do you not care that a innocent child was killed??
    Casey should have been found guilty, if not 1st degree murder, manslaughter, then at least
    Child neglect/child endangerment.

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

      If those were one of the charges, Child Neglect/Child Endangerment, then I'm sure she would have been found guilty. Yet the DA was looking for a bigger kill without having his ducks in order. Florida...the state that can't get their voting right and now the state that can't get their charges right.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sad for Caylee

    As much as I hate to admit it, the jury did what they were forced to do. There was not enough evidence 'left' for the state to get a case without 'reasonable doubt'.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Andrea

    Too bad there isn't double jeopardy..once she gets out, she'll go to a bar, get totally wasted, brag about how she killed her, and the fact that she got away with it and she cannot be tried again for it...

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

    The jury can now share in the guilt of this child's murder with Casey. They were just looking for an OJ moment. Disgusting people

    July 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Adam

    This is the best argument ever for vigilante justice.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bob

    i said sunday that ashton would lose it for the state, he should be fired...thats what you get for laughing...............what do you have to say now nancy grace...you have been convicting her for years now..............looks like they didnt agree with you..its could lack of evidence nancy..learn the process

    July 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. beesley

    She got away with murder...and throwing her family inder a huge bus. Good for her. And answer to God.......There is NO GOD for her to answer to....If there was a GOD would he allow this to happen??????? Think about THAT!!!

    July 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Abide by the Truth

    Trial was rigged. Caylee lives in Peace in heaven with Jesus. A child killer is left of the hook. What justice is that?

    July 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. suzanne

    Please for the love of God DO NOT VISIT FLORIDA, MURDER IS ACCEPTABLE THERE!!!!!!!

    July 5, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Andrea

    So, if she didn't do it, who did? She waited 31 DAYS to report her missing...she stuck duct tape over her mouth with a heart sticker...last i checked, killers don't use sparkle stickers, but MOMS do. No way in hell her dad did it, he would have never stuck a sticker on her, it's not a guy thing...

    July 5, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Deb

    I am not surprised at the verdict. There was no physical evidence to avoid a "reasonable doubt" acquittal. I think the prosecution overreached when they went after her for the death penalty. In light of their case they should of gone for second degree or manslaughter. Now because of double jeopardy Casey is home free. Sad, but true. FYI I think she is guilty of harming her daughter in some horrible fashion, whether it was negligence while Caylee was in the pool or shaken baby syndrome. Let's all pray that Casey doesn't try to be a mother again.

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

      The condition in which the remains were found made it extremely difficult to extract any evidence. Still I think the prosecutors managed to get as much as they could. But the whole point here is no matter who accidentally or intentionally killed Caylee, is right now or will be free. So someone got away with a killing.
      There was one comment on this site which said "The jury should say frig the law, I am using common sense"

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

      I was thinking they could have prosecuted on criminal negligence, so I think the state failed by not coming up with more suitable charges to the evidence they had. All they were able to prove was that she was happy to not have her daughter, that she didn't report her missing, and that she is a pathological liar. It seems like they could have had some charge that would have addressed the fact that she didn't know where her daughter was for 31 days and didn't care, and it seems like criminal negligence fits that. The state blew it.

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

      The state did prove the 2 elements required for manslaughter: 1 Caylee is dead 2 Casey's acts or series of acts although unintentional caused the death of caylee. Casey should have been held accountable for the death of her daughter. She was her custodian and the last person to be seen with her. She didn't take Caylee to Tony Lazaro's...Zanny the Nanny didn't exist...Caylee was not with George and Cindy but found in a swamp!!! RIP Caylee.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim B. teacher Phoenix

      Justice for Caylee....EASY resolve: DO NOT BUY or participate in any activity in which Casey Anthony is compensated. This may include books, interviews, movies or merchandizing. We all know what happened and to hear her put her spin on the story would be a LIE anyway. COMPLETELY ignore her exsistance. Don't hire her, don't become her friend, don't support her in anyway. This also goes for the JURORS. DO NOT ALLOW THEM to benefit monetarily. In both cases this will show that the public does NOT support either act and will not put up with INJUSTICE for CAYLEE. Please pass this idea and to everybody. This would show supprt for Caylee.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. marc

    Sometimes a jury should say.... frig the law, I'm using common sense !!!!

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

      I agree... A whole case ruined by a dozen of "I don't know the law and what is common sense?" people

      July 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • bkh333

      If you apply this logic then no case would ever be tried on the evidence they would all be tried on bias and prejudices what you are suggesting is lynching a person because you think she did something what if she actually isn't the murderer what if it was an accident or even worse the grandfather is the perpetrator and you lynch this girl then an Innocent gets killed which is what this is all about an innocent child died how Unknown. they can never try the mother for this case again but if she isn't at fault for the death and someone else is the murderer there is still a chance at some justice.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
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