July 7th, 2011
01:05 PM ET

Toobin: Judge made statement with Anthony sentencing

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin calls the four-year sentence Judge Belvin Perry slapped on Casey Anthony a surprise but says the judge likely was making a statement in giving her the maximum jail time.

Perry on Thursday sentenced Anthony to one year behind bars on each of four counts of lying to police concerning the death of her daughter, Caylee. She also was fined $1,000 for each count.

“Most people convicted of misdemeanors do not get prison time in Florida or anywhere else," Toobin says.

Despite the sentence, Anthony won't spend much more time incarcerated. She got credit for the time spent in custody since her arrest, almost 1,000 days.

Before the court gave Anthony's official release date, Toobin speculated that she could be free in less than two months once credit for good behavior also was considered. But it appears Anthony got a bigger break - she'll be out in a less than a week. A court spokeswoman said her release date would be Wednesday.

Anthony has served about three years already. And it seems, Toobin said, the judge was intent on making sure some kind of punishment had been handed down in the case.

"This judge was clearly appalled at the nature and content of the lies Casey Anthony told to the police," he says. "We are all reminded about just how sinister and awful these comments were."

Authorities said Anthony lied about whether her daughter was missing. Her other lies included claims that Caylee was in a nanny's custody, that she had a job at Universal Studios and that she had received a phone call from Caylee.

Toobin said that while Anthony's criminal law troubles may be over, she could be involved in civil litigation much longer.

Zenaida Gonzalez has filed a defamation lawsuit against Anthony. Authorities questioned Gonzalez in Caylee's disappearance after Anthony said a nanny by that woman's name had kidnapped the child. Gonzalez denied ever meeting Anthony.

Florida officials also are asking that Anthony repay the state for the enormous cost of investigating the case. A private firm that helped in the child's search wants its money back, too.

Lawsuits could linger for years, Toobin says, but he doubts they'll have much effect.

"I will be surprised if Casey Anthony ever ends up paying anyone," he says.

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Filed under: Casey Anthony • Crime
soundoff (1,385 Responses)
  1. TomFoolery

    The woman is clearly judgment proof, so why bother? Only to spend your own money to punish her more?

    July 7, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Steve Russ

    It's like half the world turned into Nancy Grace over night. There were only 12 people who witnessed 100% of this trial and took the Judge's (very specific) instructions into the room to deliberate. All you Nancys who think common sense should convict people need to wake up. This was a case of the system working the way it should work. The irony of it all is Nancy (dis) Grace made Casey a household name by convicting her just about every night for the past 3 years. Casey can thank nancy for the upcoming deals. Nancy didn't let the process play out. Let's convict her of impersonating a person with a brain.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      Actually, it was 17 (there were alternates)

      July 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lakeda

      I agree Steve, for the last couple of years Nancy has had the problem of force feeding her viewers her opinion of the trial. Let the justice system do its job. Maybe she should have stayed being a lawyer.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve Russ

      No Todd....12 people took the Judge's instructions into the room to deliberate. Alternates do not participate.

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

    "This judge was clearly appalled at the nature and content of the lies Casey Anthony told to the police," he says. "We are all reminded about just how sinister and awful these comments were."
    Did you see how appalled Judge Perry looked as the jury handed him their verdict? He could not believe his eyes that the jury was so DUMB.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Shawn

    The jury did the right thing. Unfortunately, there isn't ONE SHRED OF EVIDENCE presented in this case directly linking Casey Anthony to a murder. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. The prosecution couldn't even prove how Caylee died, let alone that she was murdered. In the United States, we don't convict people of capital murder based on emotion and dislike or "common sense." Evidence is required. There was none. The jury absolutely did the right thing by the rule of law even if people are upset by the verdict.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Sanchez


      July 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • wtgflorida

      How is not reporting your child missing for 30 days NOT child endangerment, neglect or abuse (or whatever the formal charge was)???

      July 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • amanda

      Totally agree with Shawn. Though I personally feel that Casey was involved, I don't think the prosecution proved it beyond a reasonable doubt. Unfortunately, in our justice system, the burden of proof is on the state. So everyone bashing the jury needs to put the blame where it actually lies – which is on the US judicial system.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      That is entirely correct. The jury observed the actual status of insufficient evidence.
      Just amazing how this 22-year-old (now 25) managed to obfuscate the evidence.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • JCW

      What was the evidence against Scott Peterson?

      July 7, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • true

      Very true, even you are pretty sure that simply is not beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a criminal not a civil case. It's not a preponderance of the evidence but beyond a reasonable doubt. Was it first degree? Was it some sort of neglectful accident manslaughter? A pure accident and bizarre coverup? Even if you are 90% sure it was at least manslaughter, you are still not really sure beyond a reasonable doubt if you really think about it (well some might just barely be but many not), and certainly there was no evidence to be clear enough beyond a reasonable doubt for many people for first degree or second degree and when it comes down to it there was then nothing to really told you much about manslaughter or the abuse account either even if they are certainly possible. And there have been cases that seemed even more solid than this that have later been proven to have been wrong.

      And sure some guilty, awful people walk with our system but even as it is plenty of 100% innocent people have been convicted and that just adds more tragedy to already tragic situations, do you want to add to those totals and make false convictions become semi-routine?

      There are some pretty bad stats on how many innocent people have been put to death. Those are murders every bit as much don't paint that as anything else.

      Far better to let a few guilty walk every once in a while, as tough as that is, than end up semi-regularly murdering innocents or locking up innocents away for decades or otherwise destroying their lives and just adding to the tally.

      It's easy to decry the system right up until say you end up getting charged with some crime that you had nothing to do with.

      Far better this than lynch mobs, witch trials, police states whisking people away in the middle of the night for swift 'justice', etc. even if it may be upsetting at times.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • true

      @wtgflorida – somewhat ironically, it was not neglect or abuse because she already knew she was dead. It is not possible to abuse, endanger, neglect someone already dead. Had she known her to have been alive for that time and said nothing than sure she'd get the full charges for that. And I didn't really follow all of it, but as far as I know, there was no evidence presented that she had abused or neglected her before so then there was nothing to charge her with unless you were sure that there had been some criminally negligent accident, which may have been the case, but nobody really knows exactly what happened.

      And before people decry our justice system, again remember already as it is, how many people have been proven years later to have been falsely put to death and murdered by the system and all the people later released after decades in prison once DNA testing came to light and proved them innocent. It's easy to get upset and scream about when someone who may be guilty walks but easy to forget all the times when someone innocent gets their lives messed up or even murdered, that just makes a second wrong and one IMO much worse than someone free. Imagine if you ended getting convicted and given death penalty for something you didn't do under a new legal system woudl you still be glad for the new legal system and be willing to trade your life for it just because some guilty people here and there less often walk?

      July 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kay

    The alternate juror is named RUSS HUEKLER and he's a TEACHER. OMG, would you want him teaching your kids? He can't even reason.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ToBeClear

    To be clear, no one really know's the truth of what happened in this case, besides maybe Casey. While we may want to see her punished for our assumptions of what the truth is, I think sometime in the future, a real innocent person will be saved from being wrongly convicted based on what happened today.

    This is a victory for people who want to see the most severe punishment inflicted on the guilty. This outcome is proof that innocent people can escape from being convicted. It's a refreshing twist on the wrongeful conviction, and probabaly execution of innocent people.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. BOB


    July 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Sanchez

      I'M SCARED OF U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • CSE

      Is it safe to assume you do not have children, making a statement such as this? I am sure hope you have difficulty falling to sleep at night, your heart of stone must be nearly impossible to keep beating!

      July 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BP

    Sounds to me that we still have an open case of murder. Will the police now re open the investigation and if not WHY?

    July 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • JBaker

      Ever heard of double jeopardy?

      July 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • rxw

      Once acquitted you cannot be retried. It's called double-jeopardy, and isn't allowed. Had there been a mistrial, a retry would have been allowed. This is a done deal.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Maybe they can get her on Tax Evasion?
      It worked with Al Capone!

      July 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jhduck

    These jurors really needed a lesson teaching common sense prior to trial. This would have been helpful for them to understand between reasonable & UN REASONABLE doubt.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. w.s.

    Question: Everyone keeps saying the system worked. But how can it be deemed it worked when the person who was so obviously guilty got off? And the only reason for that is she was able to delay finding the body by lying until Caylee was decomposed. Which is exactly what she was shooting for. When 95% of what you see, hear and know points to someone's guilt it just does not seem right to see the little that is left get her off. Maybe "reasonable belief" should be just as important and just strongly considered as "reasonable doubt". Maybe perponderance of the evidence would be a more fair and accurate way of making an decision. I don't know. But the system worked? Not when an obviously guitly person gets off just because she was able to make sure the critical evidence was destroyed by the elements. When an obviously innocent person gets off; yes the system worked. And when she kills again? Then what? Just going to be grateful for learning the lesson? Tell that to the next child or person she kills or destroys. When another child pays for it because Casey was not where she could not hurt anyone else?
    And I predict she will be back with Cindy and George. Did you see Cindy smiling today? Her lies may have been from the heart; but what message was she sending to Case?. You lied Casey and I will lie too so you don't have to face the consequences you deserve. Not a great message to send to sociopath and pathological liar is it?

    July 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. yardbarker

    Three years in jail for a woman that must be presumed innocent by law and a not guilty verdict by the jury on all but misdemeanor charges verified it. spending three years in jail for what? So Nancy Grace could get rating for screaming TOT MOM TOT MOM

    July 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Barbara

    I think her parents should file a wrongful death suit against Casey for Caylee's death. The burden of proof is far less.
    At least that would be some kind of justice for Caylee.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Liam

    yes the jury made the right choice..lol She would have had a much better chance at life in jail. People hate baby killers. Even Dahmer did not last long even in protective custody in jail for killing teens. They finally got his ass beaten. I'll have my popcorn ready for when they let her out. I can't wait to see her run.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Sanchez


      July 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Parkerman

    Put simply the Jury could only decide whether she was guilty or not guilty of murder. If there is nothing that can prove it without a reasonable doubt they could not convict. Personally they probably know she had something to do with her childs death, but no evidence. Too bad there is no law covering not reporting your daughter missing right away, I hope they pass that law soon.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bubba

    First off, there was never enough evidence to convict her of first degree murder. The prosecution did not have the evidence to even prove HOW Caylee died – much less who actually caused her death. What surprises me is that Florida did not try and charge her with disposing of a body or something related to mutilating a corpse. In most states this is at least a minor felony – which would have gotten her more jail time.

    All the haters on here need to move on – she was found not guilty...

    July 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
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