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. Laurel

    Not getting into others thoughts, just one of my own...Think Nancy Grace is about to have a heart attack.

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

      That's an idea.

      July 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Guest

    ancient civilizations killed their kids all the time...what's the big deal about this one?

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

    Mr. Toobin may know something about New York law, but in most states, including Florida, there IS imprisonment (county jail time) for a misdemeanor. For each of the "false statement to law enforcement" convictions today, Anthony can be sentenced to up to one year in jail. Presumably the sentences could be "stacked," in the discretion of the judge, meaning she could get up to four years in the county jail.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Realann726

    I thought with 7 women on the jury, they would have more backbone – what a miscarriage of justice for that sweet little girl.

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

    The white OJ

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

    UNBELIEVEABLE. This is not justice for Caylee. Who else committed this crime? The jury should be tried for being so unbelieveably stupid.

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

      I agree. Who were these people? I heard not to long ago on the news here in NM, how law enforcement was having trouble getting cases convicted because of crime shows, where people think all the fancy toys they use are real, and with instant results. I have to say I think that these idiots on the jury may think that way too. Its sad, that a little girl's murder...goes free and we have people sitting in jail for minor marijuania offenses. Casey deserves Texas justice and I will pray she gets it.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Amanda

    I am dissapointed in the legal system...yet again. This little girl deserved justice. Casey lied to the police, covered up her daughters death...what mother doesnt report her daughter drowning? Justice needs to be served, I hope Casey burns in hell for her crimes and until that day comes that she is haunted and has no peace in this life. My heart goes out to Caylee, a little girl who will never get the chance to live and grow up.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GozieBoy

    Jurors, like voters and the general populace, seriously lack any kind of judgment. This is disgraceful and the evidence was overwhelming. What a country, it's so easy to get away with murder if you are famous or pretty. If she was fat and ugly, you know what the verdict would have been. Absolutely NO DOUBT. IT'S Party Time for the (once accused) child killer!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jabba

    What a colossal blunder by the Orange County Prosecuting Attorney's office. What IDIOTS the media look like now, especially Nancy Grace, Jane Valez-Mitchell and all those lawyer types on Headline News Network who convicted and villified this girl in the court of public opinion. Who was advising the prosecutors? Marsha Clark and Chris Dardin????

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

    From day one this woman, guilty or not, was called everything but a woman. Her looks were attacked, her clothes, even her facial expressions. Things were said and suggested of this woman that NEVER happened with Scott Peterson, or O.j. Simpson. How many criticized O.J.'s hair or Petersons clothes? No one brought up O.J.'s womanizing ways.

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

      Huh? People brought up OJ as someone that had previously committed domestic violence.

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

    Personally, I don't believe that little Caylee Marie received justice today, and may never receive it, except in Eternity. Her so-called Mother, is as guilty as the day is long–even moreso–she knows what happened to her little girl. That poor sweetheart's decomposing body was kept in the trunk of a car, then discarded for hungry animals to gnaw on. Only God, and the person(s) responsible for her death and cover-up, know for sure.

    I'm sure Casey's life won't be a cake walk from here on out, and she will be judged, if not in this life, then in the next.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. PeterD

    Another example America is going down the drain.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. weezy

    Where will she live? Don't be surprised it's right back with Cindy and George. I am beginning to think it is all a hollywood plot. Poor Caylee! Will we ever know what happened? I wonder who will get the first interview! think she'll tell us then!

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

    This is a sad day for American Justice.....If Casey Anthony was a African American woman she would not have had a prayer. As a black male in America that believed in the good of due process and the U.S. Justice System, it pains me that such duplicity exists in this country.....Even if the Jury did not wanted to sentence her to death, why did they exonerate her from Child endangerment and child neglect charges? Its only because they a saw an attractive and innocent looking young woman that they could not bear to judge or they felt sorry for her parents who already lost there grandaughter......regardless of why they chose to let this woman go free, it shows that Justice in America is based not on the letter of the law, but primarily on the axis of individual feelings and prejudices......today I have lost faith in the American Legal System......

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

      Don't turn this into a race thing.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • shortyp333

      race, race, race. IT ISN'T ALWAYS ABOUT RACE. Good grief. Don't you get tired of playing the race card so much?

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

      I agree that is probably part of why she was found not guilty, but Jose Baez also kept hammering about discrimination if you listen to him speak. No surprise that some of the jurors were African American. Color should never play a part in deciding guilt or innocence and it is shameful that it happens, but remember OJ was found not guilty, now telling Oprah he did do in self defense. What it comes down to is the decision of 12 people. What needs to be looked at is how this countries justice system fails the people here.

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

      Is that why OJ was acquitted, too?

      July 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Minnesota Mom

    I wonder if Caylee was awake when her mother taped her mouth shut? i wonder how terrified the baby was when she was stuffed in a plastic bag, carried around in the pitch black darkness & stifling heat of her mother's car trunk? Did the choloroform kill her, or did she die of heat exhaustion? How long did she suffer and cry, terrified, before she died?

    This is a travesty that this horrible person got away with murder, just like OJ. How much money will she make when she sells her story. You know she will be on TV soon, selling her lies. What message does that send to our kids? Murder your child, lie continuously, then get rich off the story..

    I hope she burns in hell.

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

      The prosecution never established how she was killed, when she was killed, or why she was killed enough to convince a jury to convivt someone of first degree murder. Your speculation is just that – there were no witnesses, and little forensic evidence. If she hadn't acted like she'd been liberated, wouldn't we just think her daughter had been abducted?

      July 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
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