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. Rod C. Venger

    Grace is one sick woman. She needs to let the ghosts alone.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. Robin

    Why is it when ever a strong voiced woman makes true statements everyone thinks ill of her! well to that LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND SEE WHAT YOUR TRUE PROBLEM IS LISTENING TO THE TRUTH OR JUST OPENING YOUR BIG MOUNTH!! FOR NO REASON!!!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      Robin, Nancy Grace is not a strong woman, she is an arrogant, ignorant woman that convicts people before the trial ever begins. She should be taken off the air!!

      July 7, 2011 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sigh

    All I know is it's not over. I hope news channels don't keep Casey in the spotlight. She was judged to be innocent so treat her as if she's just one more person who doesn't know what happened and doesn't have a story worth hearing. We know the family is made up of liars so there's nothing you can believe as fact no matter how adamant they are. If she did do it, then I hope she loses everything in defamation suits for false accusations against others, and they make her pay for resources wasted as a result of her lying. Otherwise, let her be an innocent nobody who doesn't have a clue what happened, and is irrelevant at this point. Just don't let her watch your children please.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      Sigh, She was NOT judged to be innocent, she was judged not guilty. Very different. But I agree with you, she should be left alone now to live her life.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Robin

    Now lets wait to see how long before she has another child and something happens to it!!! what will they do next!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. Debbie

    Nancy Grace should be taken off the air. She convicts and sends people to the electric chair before the trial even begins. She leads the media pack that makes these trials into a circus. There are so many children that are murdered everyday, but this one was brought to our TV's because Casey Anthony was a party girl and the media knew they could make money on this story. The justice system worked and the juror's should be applauded for all their hard work. For the people who don't like verdict, go back to school and learn how the system works.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. Andrew

    CNN is evil just for employing her.
    I wonder how many innocent people she put in jail while she was prosecuting. She certainly has knack for accusing people of crimes prematurely, like the Duke Lacrosse boys. Now I don't think Casey Anthony was innocent, but Grace muddied the waters so badly on this case nobody knows what's true or not.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. Andrew

    Nancy was the most unethical lawyer in her state, so she was forced to stop practicing, now CNN employs her to throw dirt on legal stories and see what sticks. What an evil world people like Nancy Grace create.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • kungpow

      Right on Andrew! Nancy Grace is vial, pure evil. Just like the lady she badgered on the air accusing her of killing her child, she went out that night and committed suicide. What an aweful person Nancy Grace is.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Kostonian

      I agree.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Joan Harley

      Nancy, should be careful and hope she doesn't get arrested for enciting a linch mob, this whole station is nothing but trash. I should have known it was CNN that put this station on they wouldn't know the truth if it was right in front of them, liberals are somewhere in another country, like North Korea or North vietnam

      July 7, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
    • The Oracle

      She nail you for something in the past?

      July 7, 2011 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Playjojo

      Oh shut up with the politics! Put it where it where it belongs. There's nothing more annoying than than someone who has to throw in their political agenda anywhere they can. You sound like an a$$.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Nice NYT article about Nancy at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/23/business/media/23carr.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

      July 7, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. A voice for Caylee!!!!!!!

    I Just want to say THANK YOU TO NANCY GRACE !!!!!!!!! if it were not for her coverage on this case whether anyone likes what she has to say or not,the tax payers whom I might add Paid for Caseys defence would never know what happened to this precious little girl!!!! I am truly glad that Nancy Grace stands for what we all believe in JUSTICE for CAYLEE the difference is we wish we could all state how we feel on national television hence Nancy is our vioce !!!!! Caylee's voice!!!! we have the right to know and anyone that takes issue with that needs to stop watching Nancy Grace!!!!! thats the good thing about a remote control!!! I should include Mitchell,Politian as well !!!!!! THANK YOU TO OUR WONDERFUL MEDIA!!!!!! for the missing and and the angels that no longer have a voice for them you are their voice!!!!! for us you are our voices!!!!! THANK YOU !!!!!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Kostonian

      Nancy Grace is an evil, hateful, ugly woman who has no business being employed by a reputable news outlet like HLN's parent, CNN. The pig belongs on Faux News with the other hate-mongers.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  9. Freedom of Speech

    Why is everyone attacking Nancy so viciously? She is saying what she believes and she is entiltled to her own opinion. As for Casey, although she "got away with it" if she is guilty (which if you have any common sense and you read all the facts you'd probably agree that she is) I hope when she goes to sleep at night and closes her eyes she sees her little girl looking back at her. The guilt will eventually kill her if not anything else. She can never get away from this, I'm from the other side of the world and I know all about this case and believe she is a murderer. Wherever she goes it will follow her.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Howard L. Rochelle

      I agree that Nancy Grace is entiltled to her own opinion, as we all are.
      But she belongs on FOX news with all the other "Opinion" talking heads like Beck and Hannety.
      CNN and HLN used to be about "NEWS" not opinions! Her and Jane whats her name have ruined these brodcasts with opinions not facts!
      She pumped up the so called "Tot Mom" case, and a jury found her "Not Guilty" Not Innocent, and it made the Perfect Nancy Grace and the rest of HLN look like they were competing for the vacency left by Glen Beck!
      Please CNN & HLN, GO BACK TO REPORTING NEWS!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  10. Phatrat

    Well put Nancy. I agree with you 100%.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. Casey Anthony should sue the State of Florida and her Persecutors.

    Between Nancy Grace legs there is a rathole.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • CuriousG

      I think Casey should sue Nancy!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  12. Gene Brady

    Because of Nancy Grace's false claims and evil spirit, a case against Casey Anthony was formed with no evidence. SHE should be charges with SOMETHING and pay the costs of the trial and all else that ensued. Biatz

    July 7, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. Casey Anthony is a very loving mother

    Nancy Grace needs to be de-wormed.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bettie

    Isn't it a little strange that this precious, murdered, child has the name of her mother and her uncle Lee? Caylee.
    This is definitly a MURDER not an accident so where do they go from here? The world has seen this taped up, bagged up ( as a dead animal from the vet), drugged up, darling child, thrown into the weeds and left in the pet cemetary like other dead animals, Will the truth ever be known? The only thing good about this whole thing is the fact that little Caylee is now in the arms of our Lord, never to suffer again. Never to be taken to another "party" with her Mom who claimed she was working, but in fact was stealing checks from her Mom and Grandfather. Only the Lord knows how this child suffered. Casey should have been charged with abuse and neglect for not reporting the "accicdent" for 31 days. She waited until that child was completey decomposed to eleminate evidence of cloroform before throwing her out in the weeds and water.. I'm sure she thought that the water would help eliminate anything else, like fingerprints, if she forgot to wear gloves. That is one cool gal that could sit there in her "monkey-face look" and not actually pass out when they showed her child's pictures and remains. Any other mother would have not been able to have even listened to an attorney or witness describe the things she listened to and just sat stone-faced with her jaw jutted out. Her lawyers did a great job of convincing her that she would not be found guilty I guess and she was probably sitting there thinking of all the parties she would be attending with all the money she will make from her "perfect crime." If she DIDN"T kill Caylee, she knows who did, that's for sure and it wasn't the "imaginary" people in her life. Get over it!! Only small children have "imaginary'" friends. These were just her lies and people she hoped to convince the authorities that had a part in her child's disappearance. She needs to be charged for all the time Florida spent looking for Caylee as was the "run-away bride." That in itself should be a federal offense to lie and cause such expenses. Just think of all the people that took time off from work and helped in the search. Think of the neighbors on their street and what they have endured for three years. IIf Casey Anthony walks free again on our streets, then this country needs to apologize to Susan Smith and all the other copy cat murderers. I am afraid this "Not Guilty" for Casey is sending the wrong message and we will have more "copy cat" child murders. Who will save our children? Not fame seeking lawyers. Also, PLEASE GET THE CAMERAS OUT OF THE COURTROOMS.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Paco

      You dont know that you stupid Bytch!

      July 7, 2011 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. Demetri Buttnik

    I bet even Nancy Grace kids, once mature enough to understand they have a bytch for a mom, will hate her. I hope so, anyway.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
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