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. Bobbie Shell

    There is no doubt in my mind that Casey Anthony is guilty...In my opinion for what it is worth was won by lies...The more lies the more confusion...Who, what, when and where are you to believe?...The fact that George Anthony being a retired police officer, knows better than anyone how to handle such cases with cover-ups...I am not saying that all Police Officers, investigators, etc.. cover-up or reveal as in the OJ Simpson case where the glove was planted... George, Cindy, Casey and her brother all know what happened...And the thought of them celebrating makes me SICK....The Truth Shall Set You Free...THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS ARE THE BEST! And should be proud of who they are and what they stand for.....Thanks Bobbie

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

    Casey just google checked which are the "new hottest clubs" in Florida, while the other tab still showed "chloroform" search.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TWO44341

    I am not so sure race had much to do with this, but it's still sad. If Casey knew her baby was dead, despite how she died, then she should be held accountable for something. She admitted that she knew she was dead. Unfortunately, I think she killed her–and waited long enough to tell people so that the determination of death would be impossible. And it was. And guess what, it got her off the hook. Because they could not determine, without any reasonable doubt, how that baby died...they threw whatever seemed possible..a pool...duct tape...a clown....a pirate..whatever stuck! And a woman walked free, and possibly even a man (her dad that is). So, all in all, the fact that the prosecutor wasn't able to gather enough evidence to convict her–was her Masterpiece. She knew it. All the lies she told and the degraded evidence is just so sad...

    July 5, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Catherine Lepage

    I'm speechless. This is a travesty of justice and a slap in the face to the justice system. Casey just got away with murder. I say shame on the jurors.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Char T

    Guess for the jury 2 more days was too much to ask. I knew in my heart yesterday that they were going to find her NOT guilty just so they (jury) could go home. Because had they found her guilty they would be stuck there for at least another 2 days. I believe the jury is exhausted, they didn't want to be there another minute let-a-lone another 2 days. Lastly who in the world would have taped the mouth & nose on ANYONE that had died from a drowning? What were they thinking???? ..... they weren't..... they just wanted to GO HOME!!!!

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

    I hope little Caylee haunts this woman every night in her dreams. What a shame that there's no justice for Caylee; now 'tot mom' can go off and live her life while poor Caylee is dead and no one is held accountable. Part of her release from prison should be that she's required to have her tubes tied; some people just weren't meant to be parents.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. angelbaby

    This beastly woman was blessed with a gorgeous baby. Even if she unintentionally contributed to her death, she still neglected her, still failed to report her disappearance in a timely fashion, lied, lied and lied some more. That beast was given the ultimate gift and it meant nothing to her. The verdict truly breaks my heart for a little girl who deserved nothing more than to be loved and wanted. This isn't justice. That monster was laughing and all smiles that she'll be free in no time, but her daughter was killed before she even had the chance to live. So whether she did it deliberately, accidentally, or just knew what happened and ignored it – she is 100% guilty of failing this precious baby. What a pig.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jean

    LOGIC...Thur. Casey is let out on time served, but on probation....NOT guilty of MURDER, however no admission publically that accident of drowning or proof of how body got from point A to B....
    ACQUITTAL ??? Casey writes a book and makes tons of money ?? Seams acquitted OJ wrote a book..."IF I DID IT"...well OJ is in jail today on some trivial charge...so no doubt Casey will be FREE to walk the streets, however Casey will watched for a very long time. The spin off investigations are still on going. Casey's freedom will be short lived.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sad

    Actually, President Obamas mother was white. He was raised by his mother and grandparents, who all were white. Personally, I don't believe his race/races make a bit of difference, it is the character of the man and the decisions he makes that we should all pay attention to. I fear for the future of our country as most of today's youth doesn't know, or even care to know, the simplest of facts. As for this trial, I am heartbroken that little Caylee still has no justice. Even if the defenses argument that Caylee drowned in the pool were true, Casey still covered it up and lied to save her skin, and to me that should have at least earned her the negligence/child endangerment conviction. It is a sad day for the justice system......and a sad day for precious Caylee Marie......

    July 5, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Eric

    How convenient for those of you who would sit in the "peanut gallery", who regularly shuck your civic duty by inventing every reason to get out of jury duty, voting in elections, or serving in the military or otherwise serving publicly, can sit back and complain about this verdict, the jury, or the whole judicial system. Watching a “Law & Order” marathon on television does not make you an authority on legal cases; similarly watching a “CSI” marathon does not make you an authority on forensic evidence. One woman on CNN openly admitted that she avoided her summons to jury duty, yet complained about the jury and their verdict. Some of you may need to take a good look in the mirror.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. texaslittle

    The prosecution did do an excellent job in the Caylee Anthony trial; however, the mocking of the defense by Jeff Ashton was completely unprofessional and unacceptable. He holds an office that requires professional conduct. His actions disgraced him and respect for the judicial system. Why did he feel the need to act so disgracefully? I for one was very disappointed by these actions. Is a wonder that lack of respect for our judicial system is in a decline by the youth, with deplorable examples by such actions of a high position in our judicial system? Evidence that should havr and could have been gathered was not. Law enforcement was patting themselves on the back for the wonderful job they had done; you noticed that not one person commented on why Roy Clumps phone calles on the discovery of a body were ignored from August to January. How much more degradation of the remains happened in 5 months? Was this truly justice for Caylee?

    July 5, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. peter

    As for one who has had the job of being a juror, I give my utmost respect to those people who tirelessly sat through hours, days of testimonies, dna evidence and gut wrenching photos and more. These people did a fine job despite what everyone's opinion about this case. The mere fact is that many if not most of you had this woman pegged from the start as guilty as sin and put on death row, which in turn would automatically remove you from all consideration for jury duty in this trial since you could not be fair and impartial. Not everything that was testified to in this trial is evidence. Since prosecution could not connect all the dots and make sure that the final picture looked like casey then the jury had no other option but to come back with a verdict of not guilty on the felony charges.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Wendy Willis

    Question; Would it have been more wise to hold off on trying to convict her on 2nd degree murder along with the 1st degree? Just in case she tried to talk @ a later date, or did the prosecuton have to charge her with 1st and 2nd degree murder@ the same time?

    July 5, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tony

    How stupid can a jury be!? Shades of the OJ jury!!!

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

      i totally agree but lets face the truth the whole trial was a joke the whole thing was focused on the family not the innocent child that lost her life just watching it on tv icouldnt imagine the jury coming up with any other verdict so to casey congrats on winning and may u and ur whole messed up dysfuctional family have a happy life and to caylee the beautiful 2 yr old rip and know that when all is said and done god will serve justice his way and pay backs are a .....

      July 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dolores

      Did the jury get back at the legal system for being locked up for 6 weeks? Who would believe a mother innocent when she does not report the child missing? Maybe trials should not be televised. So many concerns pop in my head about this jury. They did not judge on six weeks of testimony but judged on how fast they could agree on something so they could go home. This is our legal system and sometimes guilty go free and sometimes innocent are locked up. .

      July 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Judy Lanfredi

    What's wrong with this world?! This is a disgrace! I hope little Caylee haunts her mother for the rest of her days on this earth. That poor little baby received not an ounce of justice.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billl Bloom

      You're crazy! The prosecution didn't prove anything. The questions still remain: How did she die? And IF it was foul play, who did it? Coulda been anyone. The mom is whacked out but it doesn't mean she's a murderer!

      July 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
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