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. Jennifer

    This "mother" did not report her daughter missing for 31 days. Her parents NEVER met a nanny that watched their granddaughter. Casey Anthony lived in her parents home and they NEVER met her nanny. Casey Anthony partied like it was 1999 while her daughter was missing. She got a tattoo while her daughter was missing. She lied about where she worked, where she was, what she was doing for 31 days and today, she is a FREE WOMAN. This country has a terrible judicial system. Everybody thinks it is so wonderful. It is not. Today, a woman who killed her child goes free. Caylee, you are not forgotten in all of this. God will judge your mother when she dies (hopefully soon) and you are safe from her now. God bless your soul, Caylee Anthony. May your mother rot in hell.

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

      Let me guess, you're a Christian right?

      July 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Annie

    Having listened to much of the prosecution's case, I too would very sadly reach the same conclusion as the jury. The prosecution could not prove – beyond a reasonable doubt – that Cayley was murdered by her Mom.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Merrily

    Oh my God, the people on this jury are also voters.....no wonder this country is in such a mess.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marc

    Reasonable doubt. It is the way of our Judicial System. No fingerprint, DNA or eyewitness to the crime. Is she guilty? Possibly. Did the Prosecution prove their case? No.

    No one wins here.

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

      Apparently you "won"– -you appear to be having a good time posting.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      Totally agree with Marc, well summarized. It's my opinion that defense attorneys did not ask for Casey Anthony's release today FOR HER OWN PROTECTION. Within the next 48 hours, those attorneys and family members or friends who wish to assist her transition back into society will have an opportunity to plan for her rather than throw her out to possible attacks from the public and media today. The attorneys had no way of knowing that the verdict would come back today.

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

      No reasonable doubt amongst juries in 49 states, but not Florida. This is the land of maroons. Remember they gave us four horrendous years of "W". Next time there's a hurricane there...I say f#%$#uk 'em!! Casey will next appear on interview shows, Playboy magazine, and other media outlets...all for a total exceeding millions.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • s. york

      An insightful comment. On the one hand we seem to have a justice system more focused on judging the prosecution and their ability to provide sufficient evidence than on guilt or innocence (in a case with little to no physical evidence). But feelings and assumptions are not enough to send someone away for life or possibly kill them. Moral of the story? Your guilt or innocence doesn't matter; what matters is only how well you covered up the crime. I just hope that some day there is justice for Casey.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe

      You're exactly right Marc.
      And where's the laughing man now?
      Crying in his soup!
      jury made the right decision, no doubt about it!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marc

      It amazes me that a person could possible invoke a former Presidents name in the discussion as to whether or not the Prosecutor in this trial proved his case beyond a shadow of doubt. I'm not choosing a side here, just stating the way the system works. The second a juror has a question like "Is there any evidence that puts Casey at the scene where the body was found?" or "Is there any evidence on the body" or 100 other questions that cast doubt.

      You want to send someone to the Death Chamber, you really should have something more than the fact that Casey had a roll of duct tape similar to the duct tape used to bind the child.

      The defense only has to is introduce another interpretation of the facts.

      Is she guilty? I can't say. Anyone saying anything about they 'know', they don't know jack. The jury heard the evidence and made the determination. You have to connect the dots, and the prosecution didn't do it.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dawn

    I don't recall anyone saying such things about O.J. Why is is whenever someone is found guilty, regardless of the lack of evidence, they are considered guilty period. After all, the jury said so. But if someone is found NOT guilty, regardless of the evidence, AND the fact that the jury said so, then something must have been wrong.

    Regardless of what she may or may not have done, for you to have made such a statement is very telling on how nasty and disgusting of a society we have become to suggest such a thing be done to ANYONE, especially a woman. Manhood is apparently nonexistent, at least with you.

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

      The "reply" button is great for replying to a specific comment.

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

      Wow...gezzz my degree did not include what a reply button is. Thanks for letting idiots like us know that as if did not know. Thanks for your help. Not!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • me

      Things would be a lot less confusing if people actually used it

      July 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • WookaWooka

      Yep, sure is.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erisian

      We're talking about fans of the Casey Anthony trial. Don't expect too much.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • wild

      wild OJ was convicted, in civil court he was convicted of wrongfull death, and casey anthony can still be taken to civil court for this, OJ had to pay out of his butt for this, and lost all rights to his book, i know there is no jail time in civil trials, but there is a huge monitary fine that has to be paid

      July 6, 2011 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. Workingmom81

    no Mrs. Butterworth!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. terriatlanta

    Sounds like according to Nancy Grace's show and description of the jurors they were criminals some of them, didn't pass out of high school, one was accomplice to beating up their own father and it goes on and on...sounds like of course this type of person would agree with the antics of Casey..for shame...prosecution should have fought harder for more intelligent jurors – i agree with a previous comment – jurors should be subjected to testing before being accepted in such an important case.

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

      You're grasping at straws.
      ABSOLUTELY NO evidence suggesting she had anything to do with her murder.
      I applaud the jury.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Autogerry

      Finally a jury with some inteligence. There is no crime proved in this case and never was. The ONLY thing the state could prove was that a little girl was dead. But WANTING her mother to be guilty of murder is not "evidence beyond a reasonable doubt" And the fact that "The Media" has had her guilty for 3 years is not a conviction. I commend this Jury. They didn't take the easy way, They used their intelligence and good sense to come to the only FAIR conclusion which is that the state did NOT prove it's contention that this Woman was guilty.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cali

    I disagree. The prosecution came no where near satisfying its burden. So, relatively speaking, your IQ must be about 20.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dehomme

    this is George Bushs fault.

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

      Obviously.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Stephanie

    A jury of 12 absolute idiots. How do they think Caylee got in the trunk of the car. Casey's parents know she is a cold blooded killer, America knows she is a cold blooded killer, those 12 idiots did an injustice for Caylee.

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

      Insane and irrational verdict from insane and irrational people.

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

      Its clear and simple....regardless of how one feels about this case....the prosecution NEVER proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt

      July 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Teresa

    Nope, It was Sara Lee and she did it while enjoying a nice slice of cheesecake. Remember folks – this murderer of a baby will live with this for the rest of her life. Guaranteed!! She is in prison and will remain there even after she is released from the Orange County Jail. Count on this!!

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

      I think most people think she killed her child but the prosecution couldn't prove it. Any normal human being who's child is missing would have reacted totally differently, with the exception of one who knew exactly where her child was. :Party hardy, Casey, you future judgment day will be far worse.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • kids having kids

      hmmm... not exactly, you didn't factor in the 'JESUS' factor which bring a divine and noble thing called 'forgiveness'. Yeah you can plan a much worse murder than this one and lie about it so you dont get the chair and still be forgiven, just ask king David.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      She's a psycho and has no remorse and it won't bother her one bit as she goes on with her life. Unfortunately, this mother won't suffer one bit in her mind for all of her lies, false accusations and the death of her little girl.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jill

    not guilty isn't the same as innocent.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sue

    Maybe now Casey can resume her frantic search for Caylee's killer.
    Or sign up for the next hot body contest.
    I hear she wants her car back....

    July 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Maggie

    Tot Mom is guilty and i believe that her Mom and Dad were in on all the plots to confuse and clutter the trial. They knew that they raised an animal. how can you not know. how a parent can not know that she lied about having a job for 2 years is beyond me. This is sad because this sends out a statement that it is okay to murder your child and walk away free.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. deb

    If not her THEN WHO? If NOT her then WHO? IF NOT HER THEN WHO???????

    July 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
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