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. Where's Tony, I need to talk to Tony!

    Florida state law says they must wait at least 48 hr.s till sentencing.......To infer anything one way or another from the scheduling is absurd.

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

      Run, Tony, Run!!!!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Liz

    I dont think this was a race issue ...but I have to wonder what sort of evidence for the defense was given that was omitted from all the papers because it seemed pretty cut and dry to me that she was guilty of manslaughter. She lied and lied and lied and the jurors let her off. While I don't think the Prosecution had enough evidence to sentence her to death I do think they presented way more evidence that showed guilt than the shoddy lying sack of crap defense she had. Stuff like this just makes me sick at our justice system. I'm sure though if she listened to Heavy Metal or Rap Music she'd immediately be found guilty; I mean thats what got those kids convicted back in the 90s when there was actually Zero Evidence they were anywhere near those kids. There was plenty that showed she was of course near her kid and had her kids dead body in the trunk. Trash smell does NOT linger like the smell of death.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. westphillyamma

    OMG!!! LOL!!! I had to laugh....you are wild!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Crustyrusty

    It wasn't Casey Anthony's job to prove she was innocent. It was the government's job to prove she was guilty, and evidently the jurors didn't think that happened. Shame on the jurors? Shame on the people who automatically assume someone is guilty because they were arrested and the media all but proclaims their guilt.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Trish

    Total outrage! I am sick to my stomach. What is wrong with people? I think the jury is deaf, dumb and blind.

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

      Yeah, because YOU know more about the evidence than the jury did.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Spacial

    Perahps all the haters here would have prefered stoning without a trial?

    July 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. george.

    Cant anybody get it? The state failed to prove it. I have been following trial at home, I believe she did it. But state FAILED to prove it to me at home.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Armando

    Prime example how our justice system does not work. Pretty white women are never found guilty and if they are they get house arrest. Now the most disgusting thing of all is her lawayer and Casey will make a ton of money.

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

      Armando, Don't forget that "pretty black men (who happened to be football players) also get away with this as well.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ill Gotten Booty

      Do you really think she is pretty? She is white, so you are a half correct.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Anthony did win

    No wonder the jury is not speaking. I cannot believe they were so stupid to buy into it. How can her attorneys sleep at night??? I doubt they truly believe she was innocent. They are only concerned with advancing in their careers and becoming famous. This is sick. It will only teach crazy mothers that if you kill your children and hide their bodies for long enough then there cannot be a decision as to how you kill your child and get away with it.

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

      Are you kidding? Jose Baez has just become the most sought after criminal defense attorney in Florida and elsewhere! This case made his career. And since he got her off, he deserves it. I know if I get charged with murder, I'm calling Baez. Cochran is dead. Although I did her that Cochran's tomb stone says: OJ DID IT.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. tank rollins

    ok kids here we go...yes my comments are official...I have more respect for adolf hitler then i do "your" legal system!...thats right i said it....

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

      communist jury...cowardly swine

      July 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimbojones

      Then you're just as big an idiot as the State's prosecutor in this case. He's the one who failed to prove that Casey Anthony did anything except lie to police. "Our" justice system behaved just as it was designed to do. Try reading a book once in awhile.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. marc

    George he probably did it. They had no evidence, no dna, no witness who said she ever abused her kid, no fingerprints, they wanted her dead because she got drunk at a bar, If your going to have the death sentence you need to be able to PROOVE someone did it. You can give people the electric chair for going to a bar or getting a tatoo!!!

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

      There is also NO proof George or Lee abused Casey, so that boat won't float. How about Cindy perjuring herself on the witness stand.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      Totally agree Marc.

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

      Then what the hell happened to Scott Peterson? They had no evidence on him either! No weapon, no idea where she died, no idea how she died. Scott Peterson is sitting on death row right now! These two cases are the exact same thing.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • sarah

      This just goes to show how fickle the hand of justice can be. Scott peterson in jail and Casey not guilty. Perhaps we should not try people in the media but instead wait for a real trial in a court of law.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Disgusted

      Exactly. Jurors who watch too much CSI and other crime shows seem to think the prosecution has to prove every detail of a case with forensic evidence. I've served on a jury for a murder case and this wasn't difficult. She conducted internet searches, using her sign-on, for methods that could kill (neck breaking!), Caylee was supposedly missing, she didn't report it, she lied to police and everyone else about Caylee's whereabouts, she didn't search for the supposedly missing Caylee, Caylee was found dead very close to the home, and forensic experts and canines detected human decomposition in her car which only she had control over. But the jury didn't think she did it. No justice for Caylee.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJAMES

      To those that are in here insulting out intelligence that what is in evidence please give it up..... One the Mother was the only person involved............... You can say we do not know that and even if we did not know that since when is it not a crime to toss a dead body in the woods and just leave it there to rote? First it was Zanny then it was this person all proved not to have happened and some are saying their was not enough to charge her with more then just lying to cops:)))))))))))) lol and we are ignorant.... That is so laughable.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Zanny is Xannie as in Xanax

      July 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • growup

      that not proof!!

      July 5, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • pawan

      I think Scott Peterson was unlucky. He did not get a sleazeball lawyer and brainless Jury!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Nasty Face will have to come to the realization that she will win some and she will lose some.
      Her constant repeating of lies planted through her in the media was instrumental in getting Scott Peterson on death row in California.
      similar efforts on her part failed in this case to get the jury to find Casey Anthony guilty of premeditated murder or any of the major charges dreamed up by the prosecution.
      Perhaps Ashton will join her along with the other former prosecuting attorneys in the media world and be able to use the boob tube to steer the lind of "justice" he prefers.
      At the same time, one or more of these failed PA's should be told to stop criticizing the winning team of defense layers.
      Criticizing them celebrating looks a little odd when compared to the near orgasmic reaction to Peterson's conviction and sentence.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oh my

      Good point Perry Mason!!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Yes, especially after your kid drowns, which is her story.Plus, She had the matching duct tape and chloroform searches. If you had a matching gun your ass would be grass..so how is this different. You remember Scot Peterson right, Death row but his Jury connected the dots with less evidence than this trial. Why don't you write Peterson a letter and tell him he got screwed.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kari

      There is a mountain of evidence on Casey where is your evidence against George? Ignorant is a word that quickly comes to mind for you.

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

      I agree with Kari. I think because Casey spent much less time with Callee and the grandparents doted on her; Casey made it her goal that the only way to get back at Mom was to take away the most precious possession Cindy and George had, being Callee. If the attorneys think her only crime was lying, how do they explain her partying, her hot body contest, the tattoo, talking in past tense about Callee before her body was found; don't tell me that this girl hasn't played them for a fool like we're suppose to believe. I watched the whole thing from the minute Callee was missing; forensics was made to be meaningless by Baez. What forensic or medical person is valid after this kick in the face?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJAMES

      I will agree with the 1st degree murder but 2nd or 3rd in this case. There is no doubt in anyone's minds that Caylee was with Casey the last time she was alive.... There is no doubt even if she did not hide the body that she knew who did:) in which we really know it was her. There is no doubt is was the only person in the courts that claimed she seen the dead body. And with that just that do you all think 4 years is all you should get for that? Why do we have people that have do far far less serving 10 to 15 years? but we just need a tune up on our justice system:) one should be that you can't blame others with no proof in your opening statements because regardless jury members may think it is true:)

      July 5, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay K

      I agree – That goes along with my post.

      July 6, 2011 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
    • danw5

      She partied for 31 days and didn't know where her child was (she was dead). That is neglect!
      Moreover, people who abuse their children don't do it in front of people normally. Florida HRS is probably the worst in the nation. Sad she wasn't old enough for school.

      July 6, 2011 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  12. Don

    "This confirms what I've been saying for years: There needs to be a basic intelligence/gullibility test administered to potential jurors before they're allowed to serve."

    By the standards you set forth, you'd never serve on jury then. Why? To convict, it has to be without reasonable doubt. Since no one has a clue how this little girl died, that in and of itself is all the doubt you need to acquit ANYONE on the charges of 1st degree murder.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimbojones

      I agree. There should be a test to gauge the intelligence of prosecuting attorneys before they try to make a charge stick that had no hope of ever sticking, due to lack of direct evidence. Oh, wait...there is. THE BAR

      July 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ed

    Juries are made up of people. People are generally stupid. As a defense attorney you look for the dumbest group you can possibly find and feed them circular logic and fantasy theories until their eyes glaze over and then you're home free.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • james a stuckman

      ed...AMEN!!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. katpup

    The jury wasn't convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt. They convicted her on the only charges that were proven. That doesn't mean that Casey is going to have a good life. Her family and everyone else knows she is most likely guilty. But now she's free and doesn't have a kid. She's probably flipping out as I write this. She can't believe she is getting out. Just like the rest of us.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jason

    Another embarrassment of our Justice in America. So let's see....if they believed it was a drowning accident that went real bad, why the duct tape over the mouth? To keep the water in?? Disgusting verdict.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimbojones

      Duct tape is designed to keep moisture out, so in effect, it should PREVENT someone from drowning.

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