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. Llewdor

    This is an historic victory for the American judicial system. The state did not make their case, therefore Miss Anthony was acquitted. This is a just verdict.

    I'm overjoyed to see that the jury was not swayed by emotion or public opinion.

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

      I really wish that the dumbest 75% of humanity would simply vanish – poof, you're gone.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brent

      Here here! Excellent point!

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

      Yes, just like OJ!

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

      Well, now the sick people that celebrate the death of a child can help make Casey a billionaire. The criminal justice did not work. No mother that ignores the fact her child is dead for 31 days and does not come forward is guilty of abuse and does nor deserve to walk the streets.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sarah Weems

    Does anyone wonder what the outcome might have been if the top charge was not premeditated or felony murder, but rather, an applicable charge more directly related to child abuse? If Casey Anthony had other children, would she now be able to be the custodial parent of those children? This woman will probably procreate again.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • annab12456

      I strongly believe that if the state had not pushed for capital murder, the jury would have had enough to convict her of aggravated child abuse & neglect. Too bad someone got greedy in the D.A.'s office.

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

      Good point. I'm not sure I agree that the prosecution should have put the death penalty on the table either. I live here in the Orlando area and believe that the prosecution responded to public pressure to push for the death penalty. As it turns out, and like it or not, the prosecution has the burden of proof and they failed to meet it. We do not, in this country, convict on emotion, intuition, gut feeling or anything other than concrete evidence (including what might call a level of "common sense"). Do I "think" that Casey is guilty? Yeah, I do, but I wasn't on the jury and if I had been, I would be obligated to consider only the facts presented by the prosecution.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bobby

    A young child is dead....and no one is responsible. A young woman is missing a child for 31 days, knowing she was dead, then went out and partied, but she is not guilty of manslaughter. So, our justice system again shows its failures. A dead person and no one is responsible. So sad.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Weezie

    JERK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS CASE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE...WHAT TRIAL WERE YOU FOLLOWING?

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

      I agree with you, Weezie. Perhaps the Jerk was watching the Fox news?? Just kidding.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Frost

    Great! Will be looking for her at the club! She is hot!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. PJ

    I think what has been missed by many intelligent responses is this:

    the prosecution failed to tie a timeline together with Casey, or a murder weapon, or a motive.

    Also, while I do not think Casey killed her daughter, I DO believe she knows, and her entire family knows, who did. It is not far fetched to think that she was at a party and some person got too drunk, too drugged up and killed the little girl.

    The prosecution used what evidence the police gave them to try and convict this woman. The jury, despite that many of you think they are illiterate and don't approve of them, found her not guilty.

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

    Unbelievable. My child is missing for 30 minutes and I panic and she parties for 30 days? Bella Vida tattoo? (Good life...really?)Lying to the police, her family, friends, everyone and she is found innocent? Wow. This is an outrage. I followed every piece of evidence and she would have at least received manslaughter. I hope every member of that jury thinks of that poor little girl every night...someone should since her own mother didn't.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Teresa

    Nope, it was Sara Lee!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sotzume

    I really just hope these people fade back into their trashy anonymity now that this is over. She most likely did it, but apparently the jury just didn't find any evidence directly connecting her hands to the murder. But rather than fading away, we can probably look forward to a new reality show "Casey's Bar Hopping" or "George and Cindy's Pool Party".

    July 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Central Florida Man

      George and Cindy's Pool Party... scariest thought yet!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Carole

    I only hope her parents close the door on her as she did on them throughout this ordeal. I feel the jurors didn't take the deliberations seriously enough. They didn't even ask for any readbacks or had any questions. 10 hours is not enough time to go through all the evidence to make an intelligent decision on this type of case. I think they got hung up on the terms "reasonable doubt". They definitely made a huge mistake and released a murderer to lead the "good life". Poor Caylee!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. DD

    I'm pretty sure it was the keebler elves... They are shifty little creatures.

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

      Are you crazy? It was the Smurfs dude!

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

      It was those Travelocity Knomes!!!

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

      More likely it was snoids... Look it up for a laugh...

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

      u are both wrong....it is butter', underpants knomes

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

    Looks like her attorney is going to Disney World.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Geno

    Gonna be an interesting Thanksgiving at the ol Anthony household this year. She threw everyone under the bus to get away with this murder

    July 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Barbara acacia

    It is overwhelming to me to see these high profile cases defeat the system. OJ walked and Casey walks. How many other people walk with our system. How many are incarcerated that shouldnt be. I always had always believed in our system. I am losing faith in the system. I am losing faith in fellow Americans.
    I can only hope that Casey's parent walk away, as hard as it is, so that they never have to find themselves in that position again. I feel for them. I hurt for them. They were as much a victim if not more than Kaley. Yes Cindy made some mistakes. They were bad mistakes, but they were out of love not selfishness.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      So one case makes for the universe? That is the problem with the hype media of CNN and Fox News. How can you judge when you do not have all of the information that the jurors have. I have complete trust in our jury system. It is ours, not big government and not big business. It is not perfect as is any system that involves human beings. The question you need to ask yourself is it the best. People that judge so quickly scare me.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • She'll get hers...

      Don't despair, Barbara.

      Casey Anthony will get hers -as did OJ.
      It may take awhile, but in 2-3 yrs. time
      we'll be reading about her one more time.

      Karma has this amazing way of coming right back around 360 degrees
      to bit you in da ass!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joe

    If so many of you folks think 'god' will judge her, why do you care about the juries verdict? Why even have a system of justice if imaginary figures will 'fix' it for you?

    July 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      Great way to put it, I couldn't agree more.

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

      We care about the jury's verdict because we want justice to be served while Casey is here on earth. And because we believe justice was not served, based on the not guilty verdict, and because she cannot be tried again for this crime, we're stating that we believe God will ultimately judge her actions in the after life.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
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