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. Kate

    I never understood "sensational" trials like this one. It's a tragedy that a little girl got murdered yes, but I feel that people like Nancy Grace and others who set out to prove that a person is guilty until proven innocent through the media is a disgrace. We need to ignore news like this and allow the justice system to do its job quietly without the Roman Circus.

    July 5, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • John in Australia

      I agree. I'd never heard of Nancy Grace before, but that woman is barking mad and has no place on national television. She rants like a total nutcase and just shouts to get her point across. At first I thought she was on as a joke, but there are people that actually take her seriously. Unbelievable!

      July 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dustin

      I wish there were more people like you in this world. I agree completely that this case was really not national news, and that whatever happens we should trust the system to justly come to a decision. To question the twelve members of the jury, to claim they're wrong in their final conclusion is simply ludicrous. They served on the jury, were given all the details and spent days in deliberation about the facts. I'm not prepared to call any one of them stupid or misguided, as they were undoubtedly privy to more information than news outlets. all twelve of them had to come to a difficult conclusion based on what information they were given and they did their job. To assume guilt before proof is given is contrary to what it is to be American, unfortunately the news outlets have made it all too easy to jump to a conclusion.

      I'm just annoyed that everyone is so upset about something that was dealt with according to the laws and that really should be none of their business...

      July 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kids having kids

    ... and this is why the lawyers best case imagination could still fall short of the final verdict; they did not consider Eph 3:17 also applied to this murdering b***t Case of Casey:-

    Eph 3:17 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power... to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
    20 NOW TO HIM WHO IS ABLE TO DO IMMEASURABLY MORE THAN ALL WE ASK OR IMAGINE, ACCORDING TO HIS POWER THAT IS AT WORK WITHIN US,
    to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

    July 5, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John in Australia

    I watched some of the case when I was in Florida a couple of weeks ago. I'd had no exposure to the media hype, so was able to view the proceedings without a preconceived opinion. It seemed to me that the prosecution was desparate because they had no solid evidence that could pin the crime on Casey Anthony. The forensics were all messed up. There was supposed to be an outline of a heart shaped sticker on the duct tape, but no one thought to take a photo before the "evidence" was contaminated. If they had kept to the facts, rather than work on their character assassination, they may have convinced the jury to find her guilty. Jose Baez knew this from the start and would not have taken this case on unless he had a darn good chance of winning. The investigators and prosecutors failed to discover the truth behind Kaylee death, which is very sad. The only winner here are the defence lawyers. Casey, and the rest of the Anthony family, will be looking over their shoulders for the rest of their lives. The only difference is that the tax payers of Florida won't be paying for it.

    July 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lisa L

    The bottom line is she won't have her party life back now! I just can not image how her life will play out from now on.

    July 5, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barbara Serating

      I don't see how her parents can ever let her back in their home to live with them after she put them both "under the bus" and tried to get them involved in this trial. I am shocked by the verdict and don't see how Casey can walk through the streets of Orlando safely because so many people despise her. It is amazing that if someone notices a cut on a child's face or that she has taken a bad fall that child abuse is immediately suspected , yet what Casey did goes unpunished.

      July 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mark

    This was a joke; this would have never happened in Canada, EVER, this crazy lady was absolutely guilty. The jurors failed and there was no justice today in Orlando. George Anthony had nothing to do with this. So I guess murder is legal in Florida. What a sad day today. R.I.P. Caylee.

    July 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimmyJames

      Well Mark you must have been on the jury with Grace and Galanos

      July 5, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Linda P.

    I don't know what to do with all the emotions I'm feeling: sadness, frustration, grief, disbelief, disappointment. I knew the murder conviction wouldn't happen but I am astounded that a conviction wasn't arrived at on the other counts. I keep coming back to seeing the image of the heart-shaped sticker on the tape. That poor baby ...

    July 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sam

    They should remove her uterus so she can't have anymore children.

    July 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barbara Serating

      I totally agree with you, but we are too civilized to perform this surgery.

      July 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. vfocused

    The jury could not see what we saw on tv they only had what was put before them, I guarantee when they realize how much they did not know they are going regret what they did. They may accept their decision cus of what they had and become celebrities and make money. The sad thing is, Casey really was guilty but cus of all her lies she bought alot of time and by the time the body was found the evidence was destroyed. Casey had time to get rid of alot also. The 31 days is everything. The name of the movie should be tymer55 unsure if I got the name right but Ashton was dead on when he sd 55 days til caylee's birthday and she would be able to talk and exposed the lies and casey would not be able to continue to fool her parents. Wow, I still cant believe Casey's planned work she did get the " beautiful life" -Bella Vita (Tatoo) that she wanted all along and now she will be a celebrity but all for a tragedy! She never wanted a child, she wanted her freedom and today she got it. Hope Baez advises her for her safety she had better stay in jail. Caylee has more friends on the outside. Just sayin... RIP CAYLEE, God knows what happened and he wont let her get away with it. To George and Cindy Anthony, thanks 4 all you did 4 Caylee, you are in my prayers. Understand casey will always be your daughter but she is 25 years old and she wanted the beautiful life so its time to let her have it and allow her to live it somewhere else not under your roof! Casey thru her family and Caylee under the ground that the bus was riding on. Let her go!! You have a son that feels left out who can give you more grandkids and who will love them and not murder them. Move and let Casey live the " Bella Vita" you have done all you can do. In court she spit on her family. Pray for her and let her go, and never forget Caylee she'll see the family in Heaven but not her unfit mom Casey. " You reap what you sew". The truth will set you free! Not your LIES!

    July 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. judy Best

    I agree with Mr. Toobin....the prosecution did not have enough evidence for a capital case....and that could have been a turnoff for the jury....but i also feel that the jury failed to do their job in seriously considering the lesser charges that were presented....i think they were more concerned with finishing up than considering all the charges meaningfully....what a shame....when all was said and done, they were just too fatigued from it all....RIP Caylee

    July 5, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dave k

    RIP Caylee. You're in a better place. My there be a special place in hell for her mother and anyone else involved in her death!

    July 5, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JimmyJames

    Anthony not guilty. How can that be? Grace and the other incmpetent Glanos, trie d her for two years on national televuision and found her guilty each time. Oh, thats right they had so many crime experts and big mouth know it all , like them selves.

    July 5, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Candice

    If you're innocent, your story never changes

    July 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BenBreeg

    " I don't know why her lawyers didn’t make a motion to get her out today" – oooohohohohohoh you are overdoing so much right now!!!.... What else will you say? " I think The State should compensate ms. Anthony for all the moral losses she has suffered due to this trial, in cash, free of taxation" ?!? While everybody are now on the edge of sanity with this case?

    July 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. La in

    Jeff ,
    You are right, overcharged from the start. I practice on the civil side but this case relies upon experts and a very strange bunch of family members. These experts had no underlying fact witnesses. Experts can get no one on their side without believable witnesses on their side. And, was there not one person she ever said something to during that 31 days? Isn't that odd? What would make a 22 year old girl not say something during that time? That's what that jury saw. The defense accurately painted dad as the bullish.

    July 5, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Claude Dubois

    Trial by media = 0
    Trial by jury = 1
    The media should take their lumps and eat the crow they deserve. Thank God the jury was sequestered.

    July 5, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
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