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. Eleanor

    Too much reliance on much unproven science helped throw common sense out the window in Anthony trial. This is a new low for our legal system. It was all about who would win and who would lose and nothing about a dead Caylee Anthony. The jury verdict was a travesty of justice. The baby remains dead. There is no justice for her. Now that our legal system fails to work, we have to worry about vigilante justice.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Eleanor

    This was a historic rejection of justice.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. 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 have 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 calls about his 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 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. growup

    Grow up america! The prosecutors COULD NOT PROVE how the baby died..and they COULD NOT PROVE that casey did anything to cause it... this is our justice system and if you have ever had to sit in that chair you would be celebrating that finally the system worked! i say.. the JURY did an EXCELLENT JOB!!! and a hard one!! they went with the evidence and not their personal feelings which seems to be what the majority of you are doing... do us all a favor and never serve on a jury...

    July 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blue Templar

      You do know that a jury is comprised of the 12 dumbest people who couldn't find a reason they shouldn't be in a jury, right?

      July 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jaws1

    Ok, I'm starting to get real disgusted with the hypocrytical people out there. Our justice system worked just the way it should have. Everyone did their job, some not as well as they should have (read "the Prosecution). The jury had no real choice they had to find what they felt was the only verdict. Just because you don't like the outcome does not mean it was wrong. I am sick and tired of people who listen from the sidelines (to the slanted news media) and pronounce their verdict and pronounce their judgement. God said "judge not lest ye be judged", and if anyone of you was put on trial, you"d do everything in your power to get an acquittal. If you were on this Jury from the begining and heard ALL of the rules and instructions and All of the evidence, you'd probably vote the same way. Take a hard look at yourself before you pass judgement you might find it interesting. My opinion on the verdict counts for diddly and thats all I'm gonna say.

    .

    July 5, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. wow

    With people like you who want her blood, we may as well bring back the Colosseum of Rome. Glad you were not on the jury your neither fair nor impartial.

    July 5, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Michael

    People like you is what is wrong with this world. Why is everybody keen on passing an innocent lady the electric chair? For what reason, "she partied too hard". There is no doubt Casey's partying got out of hand but you could clearly see she was innocent as to murdering her daughter but she knew her word had lost any credibility due to her lifestyle. It is enough of public and media crucifixion. God has worked through the jury to save an innocent lady today who would use this experience as a lesson to reform her ways in future endeavors. May Caylee's soul REST IN PEACE and I am sure she is happy her mother was not wrongly murdered by the American media and hypocritical public. I wish Casey the best of luck in future and I hope she has had a lesson from this because she nearly paid with her life for living reckless with hypocrites applauding with a justification. MAY GOD FORGIVE US ALL..

    July 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Proud to be an American

    The media & the public came to their own conclusions with limited knowledge....we still do not know FOR SURE what happened...how can we convict without ABSOLUTE certainty of what the facts are...that's what makes this country so great..just because you THINK you know does not make it so...

    July 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jerzjohnny

    The verdict in this case "NOT GUILTY", was correct even though many may disagree. The DA'S office was manipulated by the florida news media,nancy grace and they cracked under pressure. The prosecutions office fell into the defenses game playing and finger pointing,therfore bringing the reasonable doubt card into play & the DA lost. This case didnt even receive as much exposure as OJ Simpson,S.Peterson,the menedez brothers and even the houston mom who drowned all her kids and the state of florida couldnt seal the deal. The reason is because the DA was too overzealous on convicting Ms.Anthony that they didnt take their time,concentrate on the facts and they wound up with an OJ outcome instead of a S.Peterson outcome which was a similiar style of evidential case. They should of tried the whole family as a murder conspiracy crime like a mafia trial and now they will never get a guilty verdict on anyone. Even though Casey may have participated in this crime as OJ also did his, the DA'S in LA and Orlando were so quick too go for the defendants throats they both dropped the ball. So all we can do is say a prayer for the little girl and respect the decision of the 12 in the jury box. Justice did prevail in caseys case because the DA did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt her guilt. Also Casey and OJ were critiicized on not taking the stand,but as they say "Anything you say, can and will be held against you in the court of law",so why take the stand if the Da didnt prove their own case.Why help them try to prove their case??. If you ever get in trouble you wil be glad we have a justice system like we do.So GOD BLESS you all and respect the decision made today ,dont judge.

    July 5, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. wjs

    Although I have much sympathy for Caylee Anthony- I am glad this trial is over and we can once again hear what else is going on in our world- what a waste of time that was!!!

    July 5, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sophia

    This day will not be forgotten. These feelings of disappointment and anguish that I have confirm why I wish to obtain a career in our Criminal Justice system (It’s weak and needs some help). The jury in this case did not receive the important CONCRETE evidence that they could have based a tougher verdict on. At the end of the day I feel that this prosecution got too caught up in trying to be in the spotlight and drama, and failed to slow down and take a step back to evaluate what evidence they had. This was a family affair, no doubt about it. That’s why they can’t pinpoint everything on Ms. Anthony. Her family knows more than they are saying... Prosecutors took this case from the wrong angle. They should have questioned the drowning defense drawn up by Ms. Anthony. Then maybe she would have received a tougher neglect charge. This is such a disappointing case… Caylee deserves Justice.

    July 5, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Alex K

    This is shocking. With the prosecutor’s stellar closing arguments I was sure the jury was coming back with guilty.

    Poll: Should Casey Anthony have been acquitted of murdering her daughter?
    Vote: http://www.wepolls.com/p/1056161/

    Also

    Poll: Should HLN be ashamed of how they reported the Anthony trial?
    Vote: http://www.wepolls.com/p/953790/

    July 5, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. wjs

    Seriously...someone should put Nancy Grace on the stand for interfering with justice, slander, liable etc.....good TV...bad law....

    July 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Evelyn in Pa.

    My porch light will be on tonight in remembrance of Caylee.

    July 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • kids having kids

      my disco lights will be on tonight to toss a second chance for Casey, every once in while we need to reminded of an english phrase 'your sins are forgiven!'

      July 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barbara Serating

      My porch light is on for this precious child. I know that God has wrapped His loving arms around this little angel. I feel so bad for Cindy & George for losing such a gorgeous little grandbaby.

      July 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marlena

      Oh my God I can't believe she walked away with such horrible murder, like O.j did, guess what? when she stole George's gas can, she was even thinking in burning her daughters dead body.. for what another reason she stole the gas can??
      what an horrible crime she was even planning murder her child long before for what reason she took photos of Caylee trying to open the sliding door.. oh well maybe the karma law willl make her pay faster outside the jail than inside look what happened to Ana Maria Cardona death sentenced? she is still alive and protected inside the jail
      Oh well nobody escape from the law of compensation..
      bye

      July 5, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. wjs

    Can George be tried now for conspiring? Or is that just it on any further investigation charges for the death and still unanswered possible death of the child?

    July 5, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ginny

      I wouldn't think so since there is NO EVIDENCE. NO EVIDENCE on murder, just speculation on everything else.

      July 5, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • TSC

      NO EVIDENCE, NO EVIDENCE - that sounds like Cindy Anthony who kept yelling "no odor, no odor" to the media after she called 911 yelling "it smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car".

      July 5, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
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