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. Kristin

    When Casey gets out, will she start looking for the "real killer" of Caylee?

    July 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rob

    My only hope is that once released, she is shot in the head by one of the freaks she meets in the clubs that she goes to to help her forget that she MURDERED her CHILD!

    July 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • WeThePeople

      Make that two of us Rob..

      July 7, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Caylee DID get justice

    You know whats we alls needs to do is just get rid of all these stupid laws and judges and trials and such and justs hangs anyones wes noes is guilty and be done with it cuz thats what the LORD wants and its right.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. t elia

    please ask yourself: if your son or daughter were on trial for their life, would you want a jury to decide their fate based on emotion or evidence? it's easy to stand on the side lines and say "casey is guilty – kill her !!"" when it's not your finger on the switch.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. us1776

    Through all of this I thought Judge Perry did a great job of controlling such a high-profile trial.

    .

    July 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      I agree – he is a high-class man, and has a VERY sharp legal mind.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      I wish we could hear Judge Perry freely comment about the case.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danielle

      I saw the smirk on his face when he was reviewing the papers, before they announced the verdict and I knew something wasn't right ...

      July 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chel

      The judge did the best he could do. I'm very sad by this whole thing and everytime I see a picture of Caylee tears come to my eyes. I'm a black woman and I know if I was in Casey's shoes I would never see daylight again. Cards are dealt different for different people and that's just a fact. They would put me under the jail if my child was dead and I couldn't explain how or even if I did say it was an accident.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Options

    Why don't the Feds bring charges if she lied to them? No double jeopardy?

    Also, why doesn't another family member bring a wrongful death civil action against her like happened with OJ. Preponderance of evidence instead of beyond a reasonable doubt standard. They could then keep her from getting money.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      What charges? She lied, a misdemeanor. Thats it.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • jodi

      The accused and victim's family are one in the same, and they're all on Casye's side, so nobody will bring a wrongful death suit.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. iloveadam

    casey... please do playboy!

    July 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dave

    Let's be honest here... the prosecution dropped the ball. They were pushing for the death penalty and the jury needed 1000% proof of the murder to convict knowing what the prospecution was pushing for. Now, maybe if they were just pushing for life in prison, MAYBE it could have ended different. Everyone wants to look at how horrible the judicial system is and how great Baez is as a defense attorny, but someone on the prosecution team needs to be held responsible for dropping the ball

    July 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. EDS

    People, She went to trial and was found not guilty. It is our court system right or wrong. Sometimes things do go the way the TV commentators want. No one in the public knows the whole story. So please stop being whiney Americans outraged when 1 person goes free and millions of children around the world die of hunger every year. Time to start obsessing on the next courtroom scandal!

    July 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryan

      Every life is important, and every death diminishes us all, some more than others. Comparing a starving child in Africa to Caylee being murdered is terribly misguided. We had a chance here to directly provide justice for a life that ended too soon. By mismanaging the case, the prosecutors failed to hold the perpetrator accountable.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • caron

      Thank you. We will never know what went on inside the trial, but the jury did. If you believe in the American justice system of peers, then just drop this.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • momof4

      I agree with Bob... regardless of mine or anyone elses personal opinion the jury spoke. Now lets take of this energy and focus on something positive. It is sad but I have to admit if Ashton wasn't such an ass the jury may have gone in a different way...

      July 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. studdmuffins

    American jurisprudence in action.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Roscoelette

    Stunning to me that her bogus story of an accidental drowning would be swallowed by anyone. The woman is a liar. When she was arrested, she could have told that story. But, oops, it took her three years to think it up. Just keep remembering these things: duct tape, refusal to help authorities find the child, and 31 days of partying. She knows what happened to her child. They should have at the very least got her on child abuse charges. It's neglect to ignore the disappearance of your child for 31 days.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. idiocy

    Quite frankly people can and will go on and on and beat the perverbial dead horse about this however truth is that shes out soon which means ultimately the prosecution did not do their jobs. You can blame the jury like an idiot but theres a reason they are there and you arent because obviously your opinion is getting in the way of what evidence and facts have been presented. As for parents good glad you love your children maybe like someone stated earlier you should look in your own town to prevent stuff like this instead of wasting time trying to change a verdict with a post on cnn.com.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JD

    So all you in favor of the way "justice" was done, can you explain to me how child neglect was completely overshadowed in this? Ok, lets just say that the murder wasn't proven (it was pretty damn close if you ask me, but I guess you need a smoking gun, fine, so be it) – but explain to me how it's not neglect/child abuse if you're the last person to see your daughter and she goes missing for 31 days before you report it, and she's found dead and taped up in the woods???? Please, please, please explain that to me all you lawyers in here.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • WeThePeople

      Couldn't agree more.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justice Scalia

      I would need to see the jury questionnaire about the charges of abuse first. See the jury doesn't just go in a room and throw darts at a board, they have rules. They have questions they have to be able to answer. If they can say yes, or no is what determines how things will turn out. Rules. Not mob rules, fools.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Answer

      1. No official cause of death – in most murder cases you at least have a cause of death.
      2. No evidence of physical custody prior to the disappearance – the DA had ZERO proof that Casey was the last person in physical custody of Caylee.
      3. No credible motive – given that Casey was already able to party, it's tough to swallow the idea that a mom would wake up one day and, with no prior evidence of any abuse AT ALL from anyone who testified, decide that she's going to kill her daughter so she can party more.
      4. The whole 'duct tape' component was unproven. There was a piece of duct tape loosely attached to the skull. From that, the prosecution built the idea that Caylee was suffocated intentionally by duct tape. It was just a theory, not a fact.
      5. The chloroform evidence was scientifically inconclusive. There was, again, no evidence that chloroform was used on Caylee. There was a theory.

      Really, from a evidence standpoint there wasn't anything that proved an intent to harm or kill. The jury was left the question the defense raised: based on the evidence alone, could it possibly have been something other than intentional murder?

      Based on my read of the evidence, the jury reached a reasonable verdict. It's not what you know, it's what you can prove. Our judicial system swings heavily in favor of the accused in order to protect the innocent. Occassionally, that also means someone guilty might get away with a crime.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tessa

    If she isn't guilty, why did she feel the need to lie to so many people about the whereabouts of her child? If she isn't guilty, why would she ask for a retrial just a few days earlier, claiming she wasn't 'sane enough' to continue? And furthermore, she looks thrilled as peaches that she didn't get caught. She has the smile of a sociopath. For someone 'not guilty' she sure went through a lot of trouble to hide the truth.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justice Scalia

      Ever been to traffic court to fight a ticket even? If not go do it and plead not guilty.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Really?

    You all need to keep in mind how the system works. Innocent until proven guilty. Key word proven. All of you who are p^ssed at the jury and throwing them under the bus, you have to keep this in mind: YOU GET YOUR NEWS AND FACTS FROM CNN AND TELEVISION. You were not present through every minute of this 6+week trial. You did not hear, see, experience the trial, other than vicariously through the one-sided media. Yes – I think she's guilty. Yes, I think she got away with it. I'm not 100% sold on premeditated murder, but she was directly or indirectly involved, or has all the information necessary to answer all the questions as to what happened. But you know what? My gut feeling, and the general feeling of the rest of the world that agrees with me, doesn't equal squat in a court of law. If trials were decided by gut feeling, character assassination and "common sense" as it was put, then more than half our society would be locked up and/or executed.

    The prosecution has to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that what they are charging the defendant with is fact. From what I've learned of the case (as I've followed it since the beginning, THROUGH THE ONLY SOURCES I HAD AVAILABLE I.E. CNN, NEWS ETC.), the evidence to prove byond reasonable doubt, or even semi-reasonable doubt, was not there. It simply wasn't, and that's the fact. Was justice served according to the laws we all uphold to be fair and true? Yes, as the law dictates. Was the final ruling fair, or just, or correct according to all that is good and right in the world? Of course not. But the prosecution chose to attack with a very definitive, hardlined set of charges, and the evidence they presented to back up those charges was not there. All the defense has to do is prove the prosecution's charges are invalid, or debatable, or questionable. Innocent until proven guilty, remember? The prosecution failed, much to the dismay of just about every person on the planet with a conscience. Be angry at the prosecution, not the jurors, who were called upon to perform their civic duty to the best of their ability based upon the (lack of hard, concrete) evidence presented. Case closed.

    By the way, put yourselves in the shoes of the jurors who had to sit through this horrendous case for this long, knowing that an innocent beautiful child was murdered, and will never be seen or heard from again. Think of how much it will haunt them for the rest of their lives that they had no choice but to aquit based on the poor case the prosecution presented. I'm sure some if not all of these people will need a great deal of therapy in the future, and all of you bashing them are not making it any easier. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    On a side note, I am personally hoping that karma takes a serious swipe at her. But karma is karma She'll get hers in this lifetime or the next.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • janice

      juror #3 is that you?

      July 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense no longer exists.....clearly

      Newsflash idiot. That's what In-Session was for. We might not have caught every minute, but we d_mn sure saw most of it as if we were in the courtroom ourselves. They have fair based commentary at the end of the day and during recess, but for the most part, it's simply the taping of a case FOR ALL PEOPLE to see and experience along with that dumb @ss jury. That's why everyone is outraged. Because they clearly didn't see what we did. And don't say we don't know what happened in the jury room. Clearly, they weren't "getting a second look" or "getting a closer look" than us on the evidence. They sure didn't ask for much back there. So yeah, you're right. We all saw what they saw, but apparently, we were awake and they were daydreaming.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • soozeeque

      no it is me #4

      July 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
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