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Casey Anthony to Go Free Wednesday; British Tabloid Shut Down

Aired July 7, 2011 - 18:00   ET



Happening now: Casey Anthony will go free in just six days, but the raw emotions raised by her murder acquittal will continue well beyond. The latest on the sentencing and what may lie ahead.

As outrage grows over the alleged phone hacking of murder and terror victims, the owner of Britain's biggest tabloid takes an extraordinary action.

And with America with red ink up to its neck, the president wants a big deal on the debt, but can he and congressional leaders reach any kind of deal before it's to late?

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Breaking news, political headlines are straight ahead. Wolf Blitzer is off. I'm Candy Crowley and you are in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Sentencing day for Casey Anthony and a fresh jolt of outrage for those angry at her acquittal in her daughter's murder. She got years for the four lies she was convicted of telling investigators who were looking for her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. And with credit for time served and good behavior, she has been ordered released in just six days.

CNN's Martin Savidge is in Orlando for us.

Martin, take us through today, not just what happened, but the atmospherics.


Yes, it was a very different Casey Anthony that we saw in the courtroom on the 23rd floor today, very different in her appearance, because she let her hair down in many ways. She, of course, had hair up on a bun and in a tight ponytail through all of the trial going back to early May. So now she it had down around her shoulders.

And then on top of that, she was smiling. She was very animated. She was engaging with her defense team attorneys. So she clearly looked like a woman who was anticipating her freedom was coming very, very soon.

And then began the arguments. Now, keep in mind the reason she feels so much better is the fact that she was not in a courtroom facing the potential of maybe a death penalty. She was in there to hear her sentence for four misdemeanors, which is the only thing that she was found guilty of. So she knew it wasn't going to be a real bad day for her.

Her attorneys were trying to argue that instead of four different misdemeanors, there really only should be one. In other words, she lied to police, yes, but it was one big lie as opposed to four little lies. Judge Perry didn't really buy that argument and he went forward with sentencing. And here's how it went down.


JUDGE BELVIN PERRY, ORANGE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: There being no legal cause shown why this court should not impose sentence and the court having previously adjudged you to be guilty for the crimes contained in counts four, five, six and seven, I will sentence you to one year in the Orange County jail, imposing a $1,000 fine on each count, all four counts to run consecutive to each other, giving you credit for the time that you have previously served.


SAVIDGE: So, in essence, the judge really threw the book at her. The problem was he didn't really have much of a book to throw when you are talking about misdemeanors here, so four years, $4,000.

Given the time she has already spent in jail, they had to work out the complicated math with time served and then on top of that good behavior. It all came down to essentially her being free next Wednesday. And that's how it worked out -- Candy.

CROWLEY: Marty, Tuesday, after the acquittal, we saw lots of outrage outside the courthouse. What was it like today?

SAVIDGE: Well, authorities were very fearful this in fact this could be a real day of rage when it came to people that had been upset with the verdict. They had beefed up their security. They had deputies on horseback. On top of that, they had a police helicopter constantly hovering overhead outside of the courthouse.

But in fact the crowds turned out to be smaller than really what they had anticipate, but they still reflected that great divide that we have seen heard on the air and heard online from people who are so upset with the verdict. Well, here's some of how it went down.


UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't buy any magazines.


SAVIDGE: Those are the people obviously who were in support of little Caylee, the young girl who died, Casey Anthony's daughter. But there were also other protesters there that had shown up and said that their support was actually with Casey Anthony that she should go free, go free now. One young man even held up a sign that said, Casey, will you marry me?

So it was very different kind of crowd that you found outside today of mixed opinions -- Candy.

CROWLEY: Martin Savidge, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

For more on Casey Anthony's sentence and pending release, we are joined by legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin. She is also a legal contributor for "In Session" on truTV.

Casey Anthony will be released next week. I guess it's possible she could sell the story and make money off of it.

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it is possible and so many people are outraged by that. Because I think they are thinking about the Son of Sam laws, which certainly was passed so that convicted felons couldn't benefit from their crimes.

But remember she has been acquitted of murder in this case, so there is no question about it that if there is a market for her story -- and I think, Candy, quite frankly there is -- that she could very well be paid not only for perhaps a book, but for television appearances. At this point I am certain that she will be courted for something like that.

CROWLEY: I want to play you, Sunny, something that the prosecutor Jeff Ashton had to say today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe she is a danger to society?

JEFF ASHTON, PROSECUTOR: Only if she has any more children, honestly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She indicated apparently in some letters that she would like to have children perhaps, that she had a dream that she had children and that she considered adoption. What do you think about that?


ASHTON: I would hope that she doesn't try to parent again.


CROWLEY: But in truth, there is really not much -- he's done all he can do. And he lost in court.

But this is obviously to me indicative of kind of a hard life she will have in some ways. It's not just oh I will sell a book. There a lot of people that will not like her just hearing her name. HOSTIN: I think that's absolutely right. Right now she is sort of the most infamous woman in America, perhaps worldwide, because we know this case was covered all over the world. She is vilified, has been vilified, is just really hated.

I think the only other person perhaps that you can compare her situation to would be O.J. Simpson, because, remember, Candy, when he was acquitted he was followed around, he was ostracized. I recall when he got out, some restaurants would not even serve him and his party.

And so certainly while she is going to be released from prison, she certainly is going to get some informal sanctions. Because I think in the court of public opinion, she has been convicted. And so she doesn't have an easy way to go. There's no question about that.

CROWLEY: In the dissection of how the jury got to where it got in the not guilty verdict, it all seems to come down to something really simple. Hard evidence, the lack of it. I want you to listen to Jennifer Ford, juror number three.


JENNIFER FORD, JUROR: There wasn't enough evidence. There wasn't anything strong enough to say exactly -- I don't think anyone in America could tell us exactly how she died. If you put even just the 12 jurors in one room with a piece of paper, write down how Caylee died, nobody knows. We'd all be guessing. We have no idea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it's cause of death that was a problem?

FORD: How can you punish someone for something if you don't know what they did?


CROWLEY: Sunny, it does seem to me that when you talk -- that the implication is here, they didn't know how she died, so they really couldn't even get to the point that they believed a murder had been committed.

HOSTIN: I think that's right.

And, Candy, I have been covering this case for a long time, even before the trial. And I saw that that was a problem for this case. It was a circumstantial case. And I believe the prosecution knew the who, but they didn't necessarily give this jury the how, the where, the when.

Even the why was not really well-developed. There was no triggering moment that they could give to this jury as to why Casey Anthony allegedly killed her daughter on June 16, 2008. And so I think the lesson here is not necessarily that the system didn't work. I think the lesson here is that the burden of proof on the prosecution is beyond a reasonable doubt. And this was a capital case. And I think that's important to note. This was not a run-of-the-mill case. This was a death penalty case. And if you are going to be putting someone to death, then perhaps this jury said you need more. You need the answers to those questions, the what, the where, the when, the how, even the why, which is motive, which you would never really have to prove as a prosecutor.

But I think that's really the lessons to take away from here, not necessarily that circumstantial cases can't be won, because they can. The jury got it wrong. I don't think they did. I think the system works. And so that's the lesson, Candy, that the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt and this jury found that the prosecution just didn't prove it beyond that.

CROWLEY: Pretty basic element of the American justice system.

HOSTIN: That's right.

CROWLEY: Sunny Hostin, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Later this hour: an interview with Anthony defense lawyer Cheney Mason, his reaction to the verdicts, plus a side of Casey he saw that the world didn't.

This just into THE SITUATION ROOM, new information on a scheduled execution that has made headlines across the country.

Mary Snow has the details -- Mary.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Candy, we are just getting word that the U.S. Supreme Court has denied a stay of execution for a Mexican national and convicted killer. That's despite opposition by the Obama administration and many in the world community.

Humberto Leal Garcia Jr's likely last hope is with the Texas governor, who is still considering whether to grant a reprieve. What makes Leal's conviction unusual is that he was not informed about the right to contact the Mexican Consulate when he was arrested. That's a right guaranteed under a binding international treaty.

Now, his supporters say his fate could affect those Americans traveling abroad who run into legal trouble. Leal's execution is set for 7:00 p.m. Eastern, less than one hour from now -- Candy.

CROWLEY: Mary Snow, thanks so much.

Will there be a deal or a default? With less than four weeks before a deadline to raise the nation's debt ceiling, President Obama brought congressional leaders to the White House today.

So, that means we want to go live to CNN chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin.

So, is it a deal yet?


But multiple sources tell CNN today at that meeting with congressional leaders, Candy, the president unequivocally threatened to veto any short-term deal that does not raise the debt limit through 2012. Instead, the president we are told was pushing for a deal that not only would raise the debt ceiling through 2012, but also bring significant debt reduction and he's doing all this as the clock ticks and gets us closer to that looming August 2 deadline.


YELLIN (voice-over): The president delivered the news himself. No deal yet.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to emphasize that nothing is agreed to until everything's agreed to, and the parties are still far apart on a wide range of issues.

YELLIN: That after a 90-minute meeting with top leaders from both parties. Sources close to discussions tell CNN they are talking about a deal to reduce the deficit up to $4 trillion over 10 years with all options on the table, what the White House calls a rare opportunity to take a meaningful stab at deficit reduction.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We don't have a dollar target. Bigness is our target. Comprehensiveness and balance are our targets.

YELLIN: But why increase the stakes by pushing for a bigger goal with just weeks to go before the deadline? The current thinking centers on this man, Speaker John Boehner, negotiators wondering, can he muster enough votes to get this through the House of Representatives?

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The House will be in order.

YELLIN: One theory, a bigger deal will help him sell the plan to conservative Republicans in his caucus because it contains even more deficit reduction.

BOEHNER: Everything is on the table except raising taxes on the American people.

YELLIN: Congressional and White House staffs will huddle through the weekend trying to hammer out a deal. Among the items House Republicans want, spending cuts larger than the increase in the debt limit, no tax increase.

Some of the items Democrats want, extending the payroll tax holiday, closing corporate tax loopholes and finding other ways to increase revenue. Leaders meet again on Sunday.


YELLIN: Now, Candy, a bigger deal puts items on the table that make both sides nervous, frankly. Worrisome to Democrats, talk now of tinkering with Medicare and Social Security. Worrisome to some Republicans, there's talk now of possibly doing away with those big tax cuts to the wealthy and with the estate tax plan that the president agreed to as part of that negotiation he signed off on last December.

Will any of this come to pass? Who knows? It's a bit of a parlor game at this point. The big question is, what kind of deal will it take to get something through both houses of Congress? That is the big unknown and what will be worked on over the weekend and certainly in the next days to come. It is a very tricky dance -- Candy.

CROWLEY: It is indeed. To be continued as we say always when it comes to budget matters. Thanks so much, Jessica Yellin. Appreciate it.

A hacking scandal explodes with one of the oldest and bestselling newspapers in Britain the main casualty -- why Rupert Murdoch is shutting down "News of the World."

Plus, a secret North Korean letter written in English, a apparent scheme to bribe top Pakistani military officials for sensitive nuclear secrets.


CROWLEY: Jack Cafferty is here with "The Cafferty File."

Mr. Cafferty, the floor is yours.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Ms. Crowley, thank you so much.

Here's something that will scare you out of that summer vacation if you've got kids in high school or junior high. Over the past 20 years, tuition and fees at public universities have jumped nearly 130 percent, and they're going to go up some more again. With states facing budget crunches like never before, some state colleges and universities are being forced to raise tuition and fees even higher.

According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, 25 governors have proposed slashing college funding in their states. The total, $5 billion in potential cuts nationwide. And these cuts are funding -- in funding, rather, are forcing colleges in some states to boost tuition by more than 20 percent.

In Arizona, for example, the state legislature voted to cut higher education funding by $198 million for fiscal year 2012. As a result, tuition will jump 22 percent at the University of Arizona, 19 percent at Arizona State, and 15 percent at Northern Arizona University. Incoming freshmen at the University of Arizona this fall will pay more than $10,000 a year. That is almost double what entering freshmen paid in 2008, just three years ago.

Public colleges and universities in states like California, Pennsylvania, Washington, and New Hampshire are also being forced to raise tuition due to state budget issues. Schools in Florida, Tennessee are also raising tuition as federal stimulus dollars have dried up.

And considering the median income for middle-class Americans is actually $400 less than it was 20 years ago, more and more young people and their parents are digging themselves a deeper hole just so they have a better shot at a lousy job market.

Here's the question: Is the cost of higher education becoming simply prohibitive?

Go to and post a comment on my blog.

CROWLEY: Jack, I had a child that went to the University of Arizona. And I would like to say again I'm really glad my kids are grown at this point. That is amazing.

CAFFERTY: I had two daughters that graduated from Arizona State, but it was a long time ago, and it was considerably cheaper than it is now. I don't know what parents with young, young kids, kids that are 4, 5, 6 years old, what they will be looking at in 15, 20 years. It's frightening

CROWLEY: Yes. Yes. Yes. It's tough. We will see you a little later on.

CAFFERTY: All right.

CROWLEY: Now to a stunning revelation which could shed new light on the threat facing the United States. The father of the Pakistan's nuclear bomb claims to have brokered a deal in which North Korea paid for access to nuclear know-how.

Our Brian Todd has been looking into this.

Candy, this looks to be a high-level bribe from North Korea to top Pakistani generals. It's laid out in a letter released by the man Candy just described, the notorious A.Q. Khan. But Khan's own shady history of passing nuclear secrets to the world's most dangerous regimes raises questions about his motives.


TODD (voice-over): It's a simple letter Simon Henderson is carrying, but its implications are daunting and could affect the security of millions. In stark terms, the letter lays out an apparent scheme by North Korea to bribe top Pakistani military officials for sensitive nuclear secrets.

SIMON HENDERSON, SENIOR FELLOW, WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY: I was astounded. This is a North Korean secret letter written in English.

TODD: The letter is dated July 1998, just weeks after Pakistan's first successful nuclear test. The father of that program, A.Q. Khan, is believed to have passed Pakistan's nuclear secrets to Libya, Iran, and North Korea. This letter could be proof of that. It appears to be from the man in charge of North Korean military acquisitions to A.Q. Khan.

It says: "Three million dollars have already been paid to one top Pakistani general, half-a-million dollars and three diamond and ruby sets have been given to another. Then it says, "Please give the agreed documents, components, et cetera, to Mr. Yahn (ph) to be flown back when our plane returns after delivery of missile components."

Former CIA officer Bruce Riedel says it speaks to the continued vulnerabilities of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

BRUCE RIEDEL, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Pakistan is the most dangerous country in the world. The Pakistani military is riddled with jihadist sympathizers and with penetrations by jihadist groups like al Qaeda, like Lashkar-e-Taiba and others, and the ultimate prize for any terrorist in Pakistan is a nuclear weapon.

TODD: Is the letter real? Henderson, an analyst who has long corresponded with A.Q. Khan, says he got it four years ago from Khan. He gave the letter to "The Washington Post" to verify. "The Post" and experts we spoke to say it cannot be authenticated with absolute certainty.

A U.S. official we contacted says the letter appears to be authentic, that the U.S. long suspected Pakistan's military was complicit in A.Q. Khan's alleged passing of nuclear secrets. Former U.N. weapons inspector David Albright believes the letter is real, but says there are reasons it might not be.

(on camera): Could A.Q. Khan have forged that letter and if he did, what would be his reasons for it?

DAVID ALBRIGHT, PRESIDENT, INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE & INTERNATIONAL SECURITY: Yes, he certainly could have forged it. He's the origin of this. And all we have is his word. The North Koreans certainly are not talking. And so you have to worry that he has forged this as another attempt to cast blame on others.


TODD: Albright points out A.Q. Khan has long asserted he was acting on behalf of Pakistan's government and military and has recently denied that his nuclear proliferation network even existed.

Pakistani officials here in Washington did not return our repeated calls and e-mails, but the two generals described in the letter as taking bribes told "The Washington Post" that the letter is not true. One of them called it a fabrication -- Candy.

CROWLEY: Brian Todd, thanks.

A scandal brings down one of Britain's bestselling newspapers, the demise of the "News of the World." CNN's Richard Quest is London for us.

Plus, an accused art thief caught on tape -- details of a brazen heist.



CROWLEY: Drastic action by the owners of a scandal-ridden British tabloid, but could shutting down the "News of the World" stave off criminal investigations into phone hacking?

And a defense attorney for Casey Anthony tells us the first thing that came to mind when he heard the words "not guilty."


CROWLEY: Seven and a half million readers will have to find another newspaper. "News of the World," Britain's biggest tabloid, will be shut down after Sunday's edition. The paper's parent company announced this drastic step amid a spiraling scandal over the alleged hacking into the voice mail of crime victims, terror victims and celebrities.


CROWLEY: Joining me now from London, our Richard Quest.

Richard, this is a 168-year-old newspaper. It is the most widely read English paper in the world, and it shuts down overnight. The cynic in me says, this is a group looking to shut down an investigation, as well. What happened? Why so quickly?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, no, I don't think they're aiming to shut down an investigation. I mean, they were certainly hoping to do that. They will be seriously mistaken. And no, the investigations will take place, because they will be public inquiries set up by the British government.

What this is about is, I mean, you can take it on several different levels. You can take it on a moral level, that the Murdochs have been horrified and realized that this jus had to happen. This was no longer feasible. This was a cancer within the Newscorp family, and they needed to be locked off. And you can take it on the cynical level which basically says they are protecting the brand . More than 30 in big major newspapers, 150 news brands, television brands and FOX News, BSkyB, Sky News. They were doing whatever they could, and to use that quaint phrase, lance the boil. And you do that by cutting it open and getting rid of it fast.

CROWLEY: And in fact, we heard yesterday from Rupert Murdoch, who called it appalling and unacceptable. And we heard today from his son, James.

QUEST: Yes. This is a family that has been around the news industry. Whether you love or hate their product, they have got news steeped in their blood. So I have no doubt that there is a fair degree of real horror of what they have discovered in the engine rooms of news of the world. And that's why James Murdoch in an interview did make it clear they had to go.


JAMES MURDOCH, CHAIRMAN, NEWS INTERNATIONAL: I feel regret. Clearly, the practices of certain individuals did not live up to the standards and quality that we believe in and that I believe in and that this company believes in. This company has been a great investor in journalism, a greater investor in media in general. And it's something that we believe very strongly in, and clearly, certain activities did not live up to the standards.


QUEST: The thing to remember about "The News of the World" is that, yes, it was a sleaze rag and it was scurrilous and it had rumor, impulsive (ph), which more often than not turned out to be true. It had its role in the Sunday mass market, and that's what's gone. What has really happened here was so egregious, so off the charts, so out of the ball park, whatever analogy you want to make, that that's why the Murdochs have said time up.

CROWLEY: Sure. And, I think, protecting the brand, as you would bring up, is hugely important when your empire is so vast. But I do wonder. We're now hearing reports that perhaps thousands of people were kind of targeted to having their phone voice messages hacked. And you wonder how far up this could have gone. I mean, there had to have been people at some level of the hierarchy, at least within the newspaper, that knew this was going on.

QUEST: And that is exactly what everybody's saying in the U.K. tonight.

The list of thousands of names come from a guy who's -- the guy who was the private investigator. They've got these thousands of names everyone has filed. They don't know how many were accessed and hacked and voice mails listened to.

But to -- to put this in perspective, we started with celebrity hacking. We then elevated to a murdered girl voice mail being hacked. We elevate again to bomb victims being hacked. And then we elevate again to dead British soldiers allegedly having their voice mails hacked. It is that pyramid of horror and actions that led to today's result.

And, you know, let's not forget, Murdoch's papers are all around the world. For him, whether it's "The Australian" down in Australia, "The New York Post," "The Wall Street Journal" on your own doorstep or "The Times" and "The Sunday Times" in the U.K., it's protecting those. It's circling the wagons around those to make it clear that the practices of "The News of the World" went no further.

CROWLEY: And the Murdochs have said it's appalling; it's unacceptable. They've shut down the paper. You have to believe it is also criminal. Are we looking at criminal changes for people inside that newspaper?

QUEST: We -- well, first of all, the nonsense that they're portraying is that oh, it's the staffers at "News of the World." There are still many at "The News of the World" who were there during the bad old days, but unfortunately, several hundred journalists are out of work tonight. And they are spitting feathers that the woman who was head of the newspaper, the editor, Rebekah Wade, was now Rebekah Brooks, she is the only one who's now CEO of News International. They lose their jobs. She keeps hers.

The word that they're saying is it's a lynch mob against Rebekah Brooks tonight, believing that she should also have gone.

There is no doubt in my mind that criminal proceedings will follow against certain people. Who I can't say. We won't know until the changes are -- the arrests are made. But the mere allegation of paying police for information, hacking a phone from an industrial scare. Who knew what? Who turned a blind eye? They're about to get their collar felt by the law.

CROWLEY: So we're not just talking about journalists. We're also talking about the people who gave them the information, which could be some people we know.

QUEST: Hang on, hang on. You've got -- you've got the police officers who took the payments. You got the people who knew about them, the people who approved them. This is a sewer. This is a festering sore of collusion and corruption, the lowest level of journalistic standards. And what's happening, and with the inquiries, what's happening with the police action that's happening, some people will no doubt -- some people will end up going to prison.

CROWLEY: Richard Quest, you just have a way of putting things. Thanks so much for your help tonight

A side of Casey Anthony the world did not see during her murder trial.


CHENEY MASON, ATTORNEY FOR CASEY: She's a likeable person. You know, she will reach over and clean the scraps of paper or cups off the counsel table, you know, like she's -- that's her job or something.


CROWLEY: Up next, an interview with one of her defense lawyers.


CROWLEY: Jared Loughner is accused of gunning down a member of Congress and 18 other people in an Arizona parking lot last January. Now a federal appeals court will decide if he should be forcibly medicated for severe mental illness.

We want to go now to CNN's Ted Rowlands. Ted, there's a lot at stake here.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Candy. And it's a fascinating high-profile situation here, an argument that -- this happens all across the country.

The fundamental question here is should a person who has been deemed mentally incompetent by a court be forced against his or her will to take medication?


ROWLANDS (voice-over): The Ninth Circuit has ordered that doctors temporarily stop giving Tucson shooter Jared Loughner anti- psychotic medication. Loughner suffers so seriously from paranoid schizophrenia that he's unable to stand trial for the Tucson shooting rampage that killed six people and injured 13 others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

If Loughner is given certain drugs, it's possible he could be held to the point that he could stand trial. Dr. Carl Wahlstrom is a professor at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

DR. CARL WAHLSTROM, RUSH MEDICAL CENTER: These medications allow one to come out of the grips of the illness and get on with their lives in general. The delusional or fixed false beliefs, the hallucinations, they stop.

ROWLANDS: Prosecutors argue that Loughner needs to be medicated for his and other people's safety, saying, "This person is a ticking time bomb." Loughner's potential for violence seems obvious, given the Tucson shooting rampage which his lawyers have not denied he's responsible for.

Loughner has pleaded not guilty. His defense team argues that prosecutors simply want him medicated so he can be prosecuted, and medicating someone against his or her will is a violation of their rights.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This case is good public education about the difficulty of how we deal with mentally ill people in the criminal justice system. Because in part we are treating them, in part we are treating them as defendants, and the system has never figured out precisely what the right balance between those two sides are.

ROWLANDS: The court is hearing arguments from both sides this afternoon in California. The losing side will likely appeal.


ROWLANDS: And Candy, that three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing arguments still at this hour in Southern California. We haven't heard an update on which way they are leaning, but one thing is clear right now. The case against Jared Loughner is at a complete standstill. The judicial process has stopped and will be stopped for the foreseeable future, if and when he becomes mentally competent. And experts say that won't happen unless he gets this medication.

CROWLEY: Ted Rowlands, thanks so much. Interesting story.

Jack Cafferty is asking, "Is the cost of higher education becoming prohibitive?" Jack has your e-mails.

And the defense attorney for Casey Anthony tells about the first thing that came to his mind when he heard the words "not guilty."


CROWLEY: As of next Wednesday, Casey Anthony will be a free woman. The judge in her closely watched murder trial sentenced her to four years in prison today, one for each conviction on four counts of lying to police. But with credit for time served and good behavior, her release date has been set for July 13.

Earlier defense lawyer Cheney Mason talked exclusively to Jean Casarez of "In Session" on TruTV.


JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV'S "IN SESSION": You sat in the courtroom and you heard that "not guilty" for count one. Do you remember the first thing that came into your mind?

CHENEY MASON, ATTORNEY FOR CASEY: I took a breath. And I said, "Now -- now, you know, I can relax a little bit, because we know that there's no penalty phase. There's no death penalty." Instantly, like that. Then you kind of wait to hear that "not" a couple more times. The greatest word in the courtroom is "not."

CASAREZ: Were you shocked?

MASON: I wouldn't say shocked. It's certainly a great deal of anxiety, waiting for the verdict, as there always is. I mean, I'm not even sure how many jury trials I've done at this point in the last 40 years, but I'm told in the vicinity of 400. Whatever the number is, I don't remember ever, whether it was a very minor case or other homicide cases, that I didn't have a great deal of anxiety waiting on that jury.

I've had juries out a long time. One I remember was out for 12 days. You talk about building up some anxiety and pressure with that.

Surprised? Totally surprised. Skeptical. Not because of the jury; we thought we had a good jury. But because of the relentless news media conviction of Casey for the past three years. You know, no matter where we went, we got the same thing. She's been vilified by news media and talking head lawyers who don't have experience and qualifications to say the things that come out of their mouth. And we were up against it.

So surprised, yes. Pleasantly surprised, obviously.

CASAREZ: What did you learn about Casey during the course of the trial that you didn't know before the trial?

MASON: Tough. She's got guts. She's tough as they come. And she's very smart. Very alert. Quick. And you know, you get to like her. She's a likeable person. You know, she wants to reach over and clean the scraps of paper or cups off the counsel table like she's -- you know, that's her job or something.

Of course, I remember hearing some of the witnesses talk about when they -- she was with her friends in different apartments. She was the one to always do the cooking and cleaning and shopping and, you know, helping everybody. That's the way she is.

CASAREZ: She seemed to have a lot of anger inside of her, though. We saw various emotions, but I probably think the most predominant emotion that I saw was anger in that courtroom.

MASON: Frequently. And I can't imagine anybody not being angry with some of the testimony from people that were friends or some of her family that was throwing her under the bus. You know, she's the one that knows it is unjustified and, yes, that would make me pretty angry, too.

And, of course, the news media every day having a compulsion to have a story, even if all they can do is make it up and skew the facts far from the truth, makes you angry. So yes.

CASAREZ: How did -- how did Caylee Anthony die?

MASON: I know nothing different than what has been presented. She drowned in the pool. And there's never been anything different than that.

CASAREZ: Do you believe that?

MASON: Yes, I believe it. I have no reason to think otherwise.


CROWLEY: The other side is also speaking out. Prosecutor Jeff Ashton talked to John King on "JOHN KING USA," coming up at the top of the hour for our North American viewers.

Time now to check back with Jack Cafferty with some answers -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: The question this hour, Candy: "Is the cost of higher education simply becoming prohibitive in this country?" Because of all of the state budget cuts, state colleges and universities around the country are having to jack up tuitions, in some cases more than 20 percent.

Kay writes, "It is as long as we have an expectation of getting a degree in four years. A lot of students, young and not so young, have worked their way through college over a period of many years. Although I would love to see tuition at a more reasonable level, higher education is still attainable for those who pursue their dreams with dogged determination."

Olga writes from Austin, Texas: "In the early '60s, I was enrolled at Texas Women's University in Denton, Texas. My tuition was $500 a semester. The cost of education has gone up because most universities are administratively top heavy, and they need to address that issue before they address anything else."

Tom writes, also from Texas, "It seems that way. You're either a Wall Streeter, a banker, or you're handing out food orders through drive-up windows."

Pete in Georgia writes, "I love that term: higher education. Talk about a misnomer. We have been duped into thinking, by paying obscene fees and tuitions, that somehow these overrated, over-funded universities turn out intelligence. Based on the accelerated rate of the dumbing of America over the last 30 years, it's impossible to deny what a scam is being perpetrated here. The cost is not only prohibitive, it's immoral."

Roger in Pennsylvania writes, "It's still cheaper than the high cost of not being educated."

Dave writes, "Sure, it costs a lot more, but honestly, it's worth $100,000 to get my kid a degree from a simple competitive standpoint. What's $100,000 spread out over 40 years or so, $1,400 a year? I imagine his or her degree will earn him or her more than that every year, assuming he works for 40 years, or at least I hope so."

And Rich in Texas writes, "Come on, Jack. Even you know one of the largest job employers last year in America was McDonald's. The other was Wal-Mart. It doesn't take a college degree to get promoted to fries or yell "Clean up on aisle 12." For the jobs that are available in America these days, a college degree is not a requirement."

If you want to read more on this, go to my blog: Back to you, Miss Crowley.

CROWLEY: You know, I think the problem is, Jack, that, you know, as a parent, you kind of think, "Oh, this is something I want to do for my child." And more and more and more, it's getting to the point -- I talked to Suze Orman not too long ago, who said, "Listen, the American dream certainly should still include a college education, but it needs to be a college education you and your child can afford." And she talked about community colleges a lot.

CAFFERTY: Well, and the other possibility - and we never emphasize this in this country -- are the trade schools. But I think, you know, the educational plans for any family have to include the reality of what kind of employment can the youngster look forward to gaining upon graduation from whatever institution? Those choices are becoming increasingly limited, at least for middle class and above.

CROWLEY: Yes. It's not getting any easier. Jack Cafferty, thank you.

CAFFERTY: OK. See you later.

CROWLEY: For our North American viewers, JOHN KING USA starts at the top of the hour. John's guests include Nancy Grace on what she thinks of Casey Anthony walking free next week,, plus her response to criticism about her coverage of the trial.

And up next, Jeanne Moos on Casey Anthony's new look.


CROWLEY: The end of her trial apparently marks the beginning of a new look for Casey Anthony. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With a wink to one side and a wink to the other side, we got to see a whole new side to Casey Anthony. While protesters outside chanted her dead daughter's name...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caylee, Caylee, Caylee.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caylee, Caylee, Caylee.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caylee, Caylee, Caylee.

MOOS: ... holding homemade signs, insulting the jury that found Casey not guilty of the most serious charges.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somewhere a village is missing 12 idiots.

MOOS: They were hoping the four-year sentence would keep Casey Anthony locked up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any time she comes out is too soon for me.

MOOS: But with time served and good behavior...

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST, "ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh. OK. Casey Anthony is getting out next Wednesday.

MOOS: And she sure looked ready to go. Compare how she looks now to how she appeared during her trial.

(on camera) Mirror, mirror on the wall, guess whose hair is getting the most commentary of all?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her hair long. Show's over. She doesn't have to pull it back anymore.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is the act over? Is the primrose pose over and now we're going to see her let her hair down?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There certainly was a change in her continence. The smiles, the confidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She looks like she could be going to a rock concert.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She had a little extra gloss on.

MOOS: As opposed to her somber demeanor in front of the jury.

(on camera) Even Casey Anthony's parents were overheard discussing their daughter's new look.

(voice-over) What her parents said as their daughter entered the courtroom was relayed by this HLN producer.

TRACEY JORDAN, HLN PRODUCER: The first thing Cindy says to George is, "Oh, my gosh. She looks so beautiful. Look at her hair. Look at her hair."

MOOS: This guy likes what he sees. Or maybe he likes a good joke with his "Casey will you marry me" sign.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of qualities do you think Casey Anthony has that makes you think that she would be someone who would be a good wife for you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has unique qualities, and that's what matters.

MOOS: At one point, the anti-Casey protesters traded words with the guy advocating forgiveness.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about Caylee? Who killed Caylee?

MOOS: His "Let God be the Judge" sign got covered by "Justice for Caylee."

There were various references to duct tape, some nonsensical, some serious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Performance art meets protest.

MOOS: But the performance that had no lips sealed was Casey Anthony's.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I thought, "Wow, she looks like an actress coming out for a bow."

MOOS: All her gesturing, all her smiling, she was raising eyebrows, including her own.

Jeanne Moos, CNN...

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": She was Maria von Trappe, and now she's Sophia Loren.

MOOS: ... New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CROWLEY: I'm Candy Crowley in THE SITUATION ROOM. For our international viewers, "WORLD REPORT" is next. In North America, "JOHN KING USA" starts right now.