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. openlyliberal

    This jury verdict is as offense to me as the OJ verdict was. How can 12 people deny the fact Casey Anthony's own Father denied her version of the story. If she was innocent why cover up an accidental drowning, call the police and get help. This case had GUILTY written all over it and I guess the jurors just wanted to go home and so F the evidence.
    What a travesty.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gene H

    Here is what has bothered me for a long time. It took nearly 3 years for the prosectution to bring this case to court. In the mean time they spent hours and hours using the news media to convict her of the crime. In America you are suppose to be innocent till proven quilty, not the other way around. This is what our country was based on. JUSTICE. The news media became the pawns of the state. They should be the ones punished for convicting people without a trial. Shame on all the news media who convicted this girl. YOU WILL ALL GO TO HELL. I just wish there was a way to get these ignorant news media idiots off the air and into unemployment where they belong.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eleanor

      Had the jury not been able to convict her of anything but a death penalty then I might have understood. The prosecution overstepped yes, but for me this was always about the dead baby, somebody everybody has forgotten.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • sososorry

      Gene H,
      There's something called "Freedom of the Press". Look into it.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      I have to disagree. The media reported what was happening...the lies, the people as things happened, the evidence as it became available. As for the three years that is more up to the defense. She has a right to a speedy trial, her attorney could have insisted they try the case sooner. He needed the time...probably to help her MAKE UP HER STORY.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geesh

      Thank you Gene. Im so sick of seeing all these Madame Lafarge handwringers here. So many citizens are looking for blood. It is sickening.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. THERESA BATES

    I WAS JUST THINKING THE SAME THING, SORRY ABOUT ALL CAPS, BUT THIS IS DISGUSTING, HOPE THEY CAN RETRY HER

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

      Retry her? Did you ever hear of double jeopardy?

      July 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • ARP

      Trish, so you were in court and heard all testimoney? Probably not.

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

      No Theresa, they will NEVER be able to retry. Its called double jeopardy, she got away with it and can never be held accountable in a criminal sense again. Since she is the one responsible for Caylee's "estate" than no civil case is likely either.

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

      Double Jeopardy. Only the defense team can appeal a verdict.

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

      Right...the only one left who could resonably bring a civil case would be the father or possibly his parents. But I don't know his story (or even if the father knows he is the father).

      July 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jodi

    Where will Casey live? With her so called abusive father? Where will she work? Will she be safe walking the streets? She probably would have been safer in prison!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • james a stuckman

      jodi...i wonder what was really in the minds of the jury.....or alleged minds

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

      She is going to be very rich after this – never have to work from all the tv, movie and book deals, and make the partying she did while Caylee was missing look like choir practice. Casey wins so big with this aquittal – not often you get charged with murder and profit from it.

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

      She'll have a movie and book deal within weeks. Next stop, reality TV.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reese

      @Reilleyfam: for sure on the money to be made by her off of this.
      @commchf: Didn't even think about the realiity TV spin on this, but I think you are totally right on with that!
      So sad!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eduardo K.

    Was it determined (by evidence) that Caylee was murdered or was an accidental death with a cover-up?

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

      Excellent question. Wish someone could/would answer it

      July 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emms Mum

      Exactly. And now what? Is george going to be charged? Shouldn't she have at least been charged w/ neglect, allowing her child to drown in the pool (((allegedly)))

      July 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cathy Jackson

    I did not like Casey Anthony, but thank God she was not convicted. They had NO evidence of her being the murderer at all – and so although the prosecution spoke well, they had no actual evidence to prove Casey killed her daughter. I definitely think she has got away with something, but they did not prove it was murder. And I have to agree that the media, particularly Nancy Grace, got carried away with their opinions. The coverage was totally against Casey because they disliked her, and they would have her go to the electric chair for that!!! That is disgusting. We are supposed to be civilized in this country.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Christine

    As much as I wish she had been convicted on murder, I think the jury made the right decision in this case. The prosecution needed to argue this beyond a reasonable doubt...something that obviously wasn't done. Had she been found guilty, it would have been a result of the media circus, not the acts of the case.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. formerjuror

    As a former juror who found that COMMON SENSE plays no part in jury decisions my experience has once again been confirmed.

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

      yes, formerjuror. common sense has no place in the justice system (who's common sense? yours? mine? someone else's?). facts, hard facts, undeniable and beyond a resonable doubt kind of facts is all that matters. do i think she did it? of course. do i think the prosecution proved its case? sorry, no.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reese

      @formerjuror & @sportreform: Glad you brought up the “common sense” part of the instructions…so true!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Leigh

    She should be sterilized so she cannot have any more children.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • james a stuckman

      leigh,,,,here! Here!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense

      I completely agree with you, Leigh, but you just know she will have more kids.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. THERESA BATES

    OOPS, I MEANT ANYONE CHECK WITH OJ COMMENT FIT THIS AS WELL, I DO NOT FEEL JUSTICE WAS SERVED IN THIS CASE AT ALL, THIS IS GROSS MISCARRAIGE OF IT,

    July 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. deb

    Simply, the system worked in this case. Agree, is the only one who knows what happened and she will carry that for the rest of her life. The State could not prove she did it and so the jury was correct in their deliberation. It has nothing to do with the sympathy for Casey nor is it race driven. It is the law being followed. The Prosecutor did a good job but it shows that the defense believed in their case. I hope I am sure Casey has grown over these years and she does better for her daughter's sake.

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

      What do you mean for her daughters sake? Her daughter is dead!!!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Reilleyfam

    She is going to be rich also – book, movie, tv deals. Casey is not only getting away with murder she will get rich off of it. She is Charlie Sheen's new "Goddess."

    July 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rob thomas

    I hope this murder gets what see deserves.... the "bible" says an eye for an eye

    July 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • james a stuckman

      rob...also a swamp for a swamp??

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

      Rob,

      And you know she is for sure a murderer how? If so, why didn't you share your information with the prosecution?

      July 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Carol

    Question: While Casey can never be tried again for this crime, can another person be accused if more evidence comes to light?

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

      Yes, of course. They just can't bring her to trial again for the same crime.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Gael

    This just proves that all anyone has to do to get away with murder in this country is create a media circus over the trial (i.e.. OJ). The injustice of this verdict for Caylee's killer just sickens me.

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