Nancy Grace: I don't have to agree with Casey Anthony jury
HLN host and former prosecutor Nancy Grace broadcasts live during verdict watch in the Casey Anthony trial this week.
July 6th, 2011
08:56 PM ET

Nancy Grace: I don't have to agree with Casey Anthony jury

HLN host Nancy Grace has been credited with making the Casey Anthony case a national story. She has been outspoken in her belief that Anthony is guilty of murdering her daughter, despite a jury's verdict. She's also a former prosecutor with strong opinions about what went on in the Florida courtroom in the past few weeks. She spoke with CNN.com about how she would have tried the case, the "CSI effect" on juries and why she doesn't "give a fig" about what Anthony's defense team thinks about her.

Grace: As I’ve always said since 1984, when I started trying cases, you win or lose your case - it’s all over at the end of voir dire (jury selection). I’ve always believed that. It’s true. I think this jury hamstrung the state. The state absolutely put up a good case and I get real fed up when I hear this is a circumstantial case. Most cases are circumstantial because rarely do people commit felony crimes in the open. Murder, armed robbery, you do it in private, in secret, so very rarely is there an eyewitness or direct evidence to a crime.

CNN: Watching a case like this, do you miss the courtroom and prosecuting cases?

Grace: I always miss the courtroom. I miss the courtroom all the time because the courtroom gave me immediate gratification. I knew I’d done something worthwhile when I put someone behind bars or represented crime victims, I knew I had a done a good thing by speaking for people who couldn’t speak for themselves. I don’t get that immediate gratification from being on TV.

CNN: As a former prosecutor, if you could retry this case, how would you do it differently?

Grace: I think they did such a very good job it’s hard to attack anything they did. I think maybe I would’ve taken a different tack in jury selection but that’s really it. There were some obvious problem jurors: You had one on there with an arrest for DUI; another with an arrest for drug paraphernalia; one whose sister and her boyfriend beat up their father; one juror who said she could not judge. Why the heck would you not want someone off the jury who cannot judge? The jury is the sole judge of facts, evidence and the law. Who the heck wants someone who can’t judge? They tried to get rid of them but were not successful. I think the jury was snakebitten from the get-go.

CNN: What do you think is the most important piece of evidence that the jury never saw or heard?

Grace: I don’t believe they saw all of the audiotapes or heard all the videotapes (of Casey Anthony’s jailhouse phone calls). I think the so-called bodyguard or bail bondsman had a lot to offer, his discussions with tot mom when she was referring to Caylee in the past tense before her body had been found, her being very flip about Caylee, being more concerned about a hot guy flirting with her on Facebook. Evidence of that nature.

There was another inmate that she allegedly discussed chloroform with, the fact there was absolutely an inmate who talked about a child floating in a pool in the backyard while the family was in the house … she lifted that story and transposed it onto Caylee. The fact that that inmate may not have had direct discussions with tot mom does not matter. … She did discuss it behind bars and within earshot of tot mom when they were in jail, on the cellblock at same time. I understand why the state didn’t do it, because when you start dealing with snitches and inmates it can blow up in your face.

CNN: What was the biggest weakness in the state’s forensic evidence, if any?

Grace: The single biggest weakness was the state didn’t have a cause of death. That is not required - there have been many, many cases with murder 1 convictions without any body. But the fact that the defendant can get rid of a body or let a body (be) hidden for so long that you cannot determine a cause of death is not a reason a defendant should get a benefit or a gold star or A-plus. I think the fact they didn’t have a cause of death hurt them because the jury could not understand the case or take it in. Juries have been watching too much "CSI" - they want murder weapon, DNA, fingerprints. In this case, there was no blood, no murder weapon. They wanted things that didn’t exist. They wanted a murder weapon – the murder weapon was tot mom’s hands. I also think the jury didn’t understand the law or felony murder. All said, it was a bad jury and I do not think it reflects on the case the state put up.

CNN: What did you think of the defense case? Did their experts neutralize the state’s experts?

Grace: I don’t think much of the defense case. However, when it gets so complex for jurors, the experts cancel themselves out.

CNN: How would you have handled Cindy Anthony? Should the state consider charging her with perjury?

Grace: I know she committed perjury but I don’t think a jury would convict her. I think that’s a very tough decision for authorities to make ... but no doubt what she said on the stand was not true.

CNN: People credit your involvement in highlighting the case early on. Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

Grace: The only thing I would’ve done differently is put on my hip boots and gone down to Florida and looked for Caylee myself.

CNN: What did you think of Cheney Mason’s statements that lawyers like yourself engaged in media assassination for the past three years?

Grace: I don’t recall him mentioning me by name but I think he’s more likely targeting local lawyers and members of the Florida bar who were discussing the case in the community. However, on the off chance he is, I really don’t give a fig. I mean, every time you take a stand on anything or stand up for anything, somebody’s going to dislike you and the fact that one of tot mom’s defense lawyers doesn’t like me doesn’t concern me in the least. I don’t like them much either.

CNN: Do you think it’s unethical for lawyers like yourself to make such pointed statements about a defendant’s guilt or innocence on national television?

Grace: Let me see, if I’m correct, the Constitution has a little thing called the First Amendment which allows for freedom of speech and under freedom of speech, unless it is defamatory, I’m pretty much allowed to speak my mind, and the fact I’m an upstanding member of the Georgia and D.C. bars does not cause me to lose my freedom of speech. As a matter of fact, if you were to read the minutes that were taken down as the Constitution was being written and passed, our fathers wanted courtrooms large enough for the whole community to sit in and see. No closed-door justice, no secret justice, and to me, that ensures a lively discourse about our justice system and what’s going on in the courtroom. So the answer to your question is no. I don’t consider discussing court cases unethical. In fact, I consider it healthy.

CNN: You have said that our system of justice requires us to respect the jury's decision, but since the verdict you have continued to maintain that Casey Anthony is guilty and that the jurors erred in their decision. When is it time to come to terms with the fact that the jurors disagreed with you and move on?

Grace: I’ve already come to grips with the fact they disagree with me, and I don’t agree with them. But that doesn’t mean I have to agree with their decision. They were wrong: Tot mom murdered her daughter.

CNN: If you had access to the jurors, what would you ask them?

Grace: I would ask them why they did what they did. I’d like to know why. Not that it’s going to make any difference. There’s no way to explain their verdict, no logical way. Maybe that’s the problem. I’m trying to apply logic to people who were illogical in their jury deliberations.

CNN: Is there anything Casey Anthony can do to redeem herself? What would you like to see her do?

Grace: I’d like to see her admit she’s guilty and go to jail. Other than that, I’m not in the business of forgiving. That’s up to the lord. I’m just relieved that I believe, that I know, Caylee is in a place where her mother cannot hurt her anymore.

Watch Nancy Grace Monday through Sunday starting at 8 p.m. ET on HLN. For the latest from Nancy Grace click here.

soundoff (2,650 Responses)
  1. Liam

    Nancy Grace is the worst type of TV commentator... she uses her talk show as a bully pulpit to convict people irrespective of the facts. Like it or not, Casey Anthony was found not guilty and Ms. Grace needs to move on.

    I don't ever turn on HLN because they host the Nancy Grace show. Interesting that CNN's policy on commenting here is 'CNN welcomes a lively and COURTEOUS discussion' – too bad they don't hold Ms. Grace to the same standard.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Carla

    I want Cindy charged for perjury, she did her best to cover the murder of the baby, estrangers care more for Cayley than the Anthonys, if she is not charged is green light for friends, family to lie in court.
    Also they need to be sued by anybody that were named and lie about by Casey and Cindy.
    Thanks Nancy for being an advocate for the victims.
    Casey is guilty no matter what the idiots in the Jury say.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • kymother67

      I believe that the parents of Casey Anthony lied and they should be punished and i also feel that Casey should be in jail because she killed that sweet little girl and they just have the jury's heads examined because they were stupid to give this monster a not guilty verdict . I also feel that Casey Anthony should be made to have a complete hysterectomy so that she can never have anymore children again and that they should never allow her to adopt or even be around children period. I also feel that the Casey's father covered up the evidence so that his daughter could get away with murdering this child . There was no justice for Caylee but there will be judgement for casey when she stands before the Lord because with the Lord there are no jurys and no laywers to buy off and no jury to sway their verdict . R.I.P Caylee justice will be served maybe not in this lifetime but in the next .

      July 7, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. max957

    NEITHER THE JURY NOR THE SYSTEM FAILED! CASEY WAS ATTENDING TO CAYLEE AT THE POOL AND GOT DISTRACTED FOR JUST A MINUTE – WHICH IS ENTIRELY POSSIBLE WITH SOMEONE, ESP A YOUNG PERSON – AND CAYLEE DROWNED. THEN SHE WAS SO AFRAID TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT IT THAT SHE EVEN MADE THAT OTHER STORY UP. AND I BET A CRISP NEW ONE DOLLAR BILL IF THAT HAPPENED TO ANY OF YOU , YOU WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      Unless you are covering up something, the first thing you do to help someone is call 911. It's called life instinct.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Umm, no. I would call 911.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Demonauel

      Yep....first thing I'd do if my baby daughter drowned would be put her body in a bag and throw it in the swamp. Are you freakin' kidding me?

      July 7, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
    • FireNancyGrace

      If this was indeed what happened, the decision of dumping her body in the trash instead of calling 911 is enough for child abuse.

      (Incidentally, you are ignoring the duct tape found on the skull. Not sure why you would need to silence a dead body).

      July 7, 2011 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
    • MW

      No I would call 911. However, I do believe there was something much more horrific that happened in June of 2008 that resulted in the accident that killed Caylee. Do not discount the very, very disfunctional nature of this family. I have a theory but it is of no consequence now.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. elle

    This has nothing to do with blaming the jury. IF the case is strong enough, it will offset any normal bias in the jury. Besides, the prosecution had their input into jury selection too. The prosecution did not emphasize enough that there is a difference between reasonable doubt and no doubt. Its the prosecutions job. And in a case where there was no cause of death and lots of little doubts, the prosecution needed to address that. Nancy grace is just making excuses because her "side" lost

    July 7, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. John Randolph

    Nancy Grace and her Hispanic amiga Jane Velasquez Mitchel are mirrors of the viewers who watch them.

    And I tell you, it is a sad state of affairs.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edd Jones

      Amen, John!

      July 7, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
    • JakeC

      Oh BTW John and Edd...did you know that Ms DISGrace and Ms Velez-Mitchell would BOTH like to HAWK their NEWEST books to YOU and their FANS during their er, NEWS SHOWS? LOL Hate 'em both...

      July 7, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. max957

    Casey got distracted for a minute while Caylee was swimming and then she was so afraid to say anything about she even made the other story up. And I bet most of you would have done the same.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Norm

      No. I would call 911 for help.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Demonauel

      Yep....first thing I'd do if my baby daughter drowned would be put her body in a bag and throw it in the swamp. Are you freakin' kidding me?

      July 7, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
    • kymother67

      No i would not i am a mother and i would not take my child and put her in a garbage bag and throw her in the swamp are u kidding me !! what kind of mother would do such a thing not a mother who truly cares for their child this woman is a monster who needs to be put in jail period!!!!!!!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
    • FireNancyGrace

      If you believe in the drowning theory (that is, by ignoring the duct tape evidence), then you have to charge her with child abuse.

      A drowning child needs immediate medical attention. Refusing to call 911, possibly causing the death of the child, and then proceeding in packing the body and dumping it in the bushes nearby your house is a crime. It's not 1st degree, but it is certainly a lot closer to 'guilty of child abuse' than 'not guilty' of any crime.

      So as much as I dislike Nancy Grace, it is a fact that the verdict was illogical. Any logical explanation for the death of Caylee Anthony ends with the responsibility of her mother, at least at the child abuse level.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. Matt from CA

    Need to find something else to watch now, won't be her any longer. Total lack of professionalism! To speak your opinions is one thing, to berate others because they don't agree is being a bully. Got enough of those. Yes, mom probably did do it, but her peers worked the system as directed. Period.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pelle

      I agree!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Edd Jones

    Nancy, you don't have to be on TV either. Please do us all a favor and crawl back under that rock.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. raymond

    Two words for Nancy Grace........ Richard Ricci. If you can't remember who Richard Ricci is , he is the one Nancy Grace dogged of murder and accused of taking to the grave knowing what he did with Elizabeth Smarts body. Oh ya that's right, Elizabeth Smart didn't die and Ricci had zero to do with the case. Nancy Grace never apologized to the late Ricci or his widow. I think her final words on that case was she had nothing to apologize for and he fit the profile.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Mary Jane W

    NANCY GRACE the trial is OVER. Like it or not a verdicct has been reached. Quit crying about what you think should have happened. Move on. Your becoming boring.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Mary

    Regardless of what the verdict was, there is a dead little girl out there, folks. I am asking Sylvia Browne to speak up and tell the world what she knows about who killed this child. Please, Sylvia!

    July 7, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. albert

    nancy grace for being a former prosecuter and saying the only thing that the state should change would have been the jury is totally wrong first off jeff ashton focused too much on criticizing casey to the point that u would actually start to feel sorry for her he went off of topic too much it is very obvious that casey anthony killed or neglected her daughter but the state dragged it way too much its has to be short and simple i know it sounds ignorant but its just the way it is the jury had to hear that the state claims with no evidence that casey "murdered" her daughter go on for four hours of how she is a murderer and a cold blooded killer they just did not know what they were doing just got the wrong people for this case not the WRONG JURY! thats why it was so easy for baez to get to convince the jury he even called his client a sl** but at the end of the day no evidence of murder no matter how many times the prosecuter would show the pictures of the decomposed body of that poor little girl casey will make her money and get her 5 minutes of fame but if she really did do it god will handle the rest and please lets stop talking about this let caylee get her rest and casey disappear and nancy stop trying to milk this for you to get a bigger check because i dont see people watching ur show in the near future anymore...

    July 7, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mike

    Nancy Grace is 10,000% correct. The sooner Casey pays back her guilt, the sooner we have a better world to live in. The system failed. The jurors failed even more. Total incompetence.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • JakeC

      To criticize the jury for rendering a NOT GUILTY verdict when the State of Florida FAILED to present adequate evidence is INCOMPETENT Mike. Thankfully, in America the MERE PRESUMPTION of guilt is NOT grounds enough to convict a person or WOULD YOU be happier if we just summarily KILLED ALL PERSONS who were PRESUMED GUILTY on the SPOT to avoid that MESSY NECESSITY of EVIDENCE in a trial?

      July 7, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
    • FireNancyGrace

      The problem is that the jurors did not understand that the evidence can also be used to exclude possible scenarios. The blanket + duct tape pointed to Casey beyond a reasonable doubt, because no stranger had access to those. The fact that the jurors were not able to connect the dots in a contrapositive manner shows gross incompetence.

      To further that impression, I was shocked to hear that two jurors (#2 and #3) today said that they thought Casey Anthony was guilty.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. Wastrel

    This woman is a vile publicity hound whose job is to wring the maximum amount of pathetic emotion from every tragedy. She is the epitome of sleaze.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Carmen Williams

    Grace,

    I could not agree with you more on everything you said during this interview. I agree with you 110% I watched the trial from day one until the verdict was handed out. I was in shock and tonight I am outraged. I would hate to think that we live in such a world and that I live in such a city raising my children as a single mother with no support such as Casey had in where mothers are getting away with murdering their children because they can no longer do what they used to before they became mothers. I cannot conceive of it.

    Bottom line is this. The State put up a good fight I was there to watch it and by the time they were done if I had been a juror on this case. "Guilty" would have my verdict. I would not have backed down; needless to say we will still be deliberating. It took them eleven hours? That said it all, they just wanted to go home in my opinion, and you cannot make a decision as serious as this in eleven hours not when a little girl is involved. I wonder if anyone thought about her? From the beginning I looked at it from that child's point of view, She was defenseless; she did not have a high prized rookie lawyer on her side.

    My opinion is this. Juror number three said that they did not have enough evidence to convict her. But yet they did not have enough evidence not to convict her from my point of view. But let’s just go with that because I saw enough evidence to convict her during the trial I am not sure if their mind was somewhere else. But that's their defense. Ok if you did not have enough evidence to convict her on murder one. What about charge number two and three? Lets see here. She failed as a mother to protect her child, Kaley is gone. That is endangering the welfare of a child. How come she is not guilty of that? Aggravated manslaughter of a child, and aggravated child abuse. She was found not guilty of this as well, is this joke or what?

    A good mother doesn’t go out and party hardy while her child is missing, a good mother doesn’t wait 31 days to report her child is missing. Jose Baez would argue that it is not true that she didn’t wait 31 days to report it. He is right, it wasn’t her who reported it Cindy did and when Casey got on the phone with the 911 operators when the 911 operators asked her. “Why did you wait 31 days to report it”? She said. “I have been doing my own investigating in trying to find her, which was stupid.” She said this herself. But Jose Baez Said “oh this is not true.” Come on give me a break. I think the juror were scared to make such a big decision as this one, they held Casey’s life In their hands and might of not been able to sleep at night knowing that they handed someone their death sentence, yes I agree that is a hard choice to make. But just like they had Casey’s life in their hands Casey had in turn Kaley’s life in her hands and she was quick to be done with it. The juror’s did not balance the scale of justice evenly in this case. Justice was not served and the law once again failed a child.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • FireNancyGrace

      Very well said, this is the best opinion I have read so far, including all the media pundits out there. I wish you were one of the jurors.

      A) It's clear that the jury did not think it through. 11 hours, no questions asked... they just wanted to go home to their families. I understand, but do not condone.

      B) The blanket + duct tape + trunk evidence point to her dumping the body, beyond any reasonable doubt. At which point, no matter what happened before, you have enough to convict her of child abuse. Whatever happened to Caylee, she opted to wrapping her body up, dumping it in the trash and go out and party instead of calling 911. That is enough for child abuse even though you dont have a video of Casey beating Caylee up with a stick.

      C) Nancy Grace is over the top though, her bluntness hurts the cause of those of us who want justice for Caylee.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.