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 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. sneakypete

    News is entertainment, it always has been, it's in the, selling itself, business and always has been.
    People don't understand why I'm happy about my being 70 years old, I won't have to watch disfunctional growups on an ever worsening basis. This jury of adults is stupid, something you can't actually fix!

    July 6, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TheDevilHasManyForms

    Nancy says it is not unethical to say someone is guilty before their day in court, Rather, it is her right by the first amendment to say what she wants, both as a lawyer and TV commentator. This lady needs an ethics lesson. Just because something is legal does not mean it is ethical. By comparison, is it legal for a doctor to sleep with a patient? Yes. Is it completely unethical? Yes, and the doctor would lose his or her job. I am done with CNN as long as this asinine lady is still on the air. I regret clicking this link.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. garwin1

    Nancy Grace was a no account attorney. Now she's a no account blowhard.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joe citizen abroad

    Nancy Grace has appointed herself judge, jury, and executioner. She doesn't have to agree with the verdict, but she has to accept it. That's the law. What she is doing is the media equivalent of inciting a lynching. It's illegal. It's irresponsible. It's disrespectful to the jurors and the system. She consistently fosters a vigilante mentality that places the burden of proof upon the accused. CNN should ask for her resignation.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tom

    Nancy Grace is just another loudmouth idiot with a degree….if she had any creditability as a legal annalist she would certainly honor “innocent until proven Guilty”

    July 6, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. miek p

    Nancy Grace is a world class pig. What a slob.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • anna brantham

      nice. And did YOU receive a BA from an accredited university?? I think not.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jayson

    Nancy Grace,
    I followed the intire Casey Anthony trial and your program. You and the other commentators were on target with your guilty opinion. In fact, the world was with you on Casey's guilt. From watching juror #13 give his opinion, I can say that there is something missing in our justice system. We need to send all jurors to "juror school" to teach them what the meaning of "reasonable doubt" is, what "common sense" means and all the different forms that evidence can be. It may help to give each prospective juror an IQ test. Juror #13 wasn't with reasonable doubt. He was confused about the whole case.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • R A

      Just because you don't like the decision, doesn't mean it's wrong. I am still waiting for ONE piece of evidence that CONCLUSIVELY proves she did it.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • SailorGary

      I hear you about Jury school........"REASONABLE" is it reasonable to assume that Casey had nothing to do with the death of her daughter...........HEll NO!

      July 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jacksonfram

    Nancy Grace is trying to change our justice system.
    Innocent until proven guilty and tried by a jury of your peers based on facts presented in court.
    Time for Nancy to follow Glenn Beck and go bye bye

    July 6, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ctm

    If something ever happens to a member of my family, I'd want Nancy to prosecute.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      Really??? If she prosecuted the case in the same manner as she "reports" legal news she would alienate the jury so much that there probably would be a quick unanimous verdict of not guilty.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lisa

    Shut up. Who cares what you think about Nancy Grace as long as you are watching her is all that matters. I can tell that YOU ALL are watching her since you are expressing such strong comments. She is RIGHT and I agree with her. Toy Mom is a murderer. She killed her daughter. The jury is STUPID and so is the justice system. What idiots. Justice for Caylee, NOT IN FLORIDA.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Paul

    She is such a disgusting person. Anyone that exploits dead children for a living is trash to me.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jenni T.

    It truly saddens me to hear what people are saying about Nancy Grace. Yes, she can be difficult and a bit unbearable at times, but she is a huge victims advocate. She lost someone she loved to a violent crime and instead of giving up she has risen up out of despair to defend victim's rights the best way she can......powerfully. I don't understand why people are being so hard on Nancy for voicing her opinion regarding Casey Anthony's guilt, but when Nancy says that Joran Van Der Sloot is guilty, everyone is fine with that. Even though he was originally released of any charges in Natalee Holloway's murder. I am not trying to offend anyone and I respect your opinions but I'm telling you that if someone murdered someone you love I think your opinion on what Nancy Grace says and does would be different.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • NancyBGone

      @Jenni. If something bad happens to a member of my family, I don't want Nancy Grace making money out of it.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      we are being hard on her because she is not an advocate for anything but herself. What you see as an advocate for others is actually her boosting her rating and bank account by creating false and basis tabloid gossip

      July 7, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  13. maggie

    nacy what is it about casey. you dont know her never met her or did you? you were not ther when her baby died were you or maybe you were . you seem to know every thing about it. it must be nice to know it all. i petty your kidds hope they never do any thing that you dont like. nacy get over it casey was acquitted and your just a wast move on to your next poor sol or maybe its time to get off the tv i wont miss you

    July 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • SailorGary

      Maggie, I dont know if you are a mother, but speaking as a father of five and grandfather of three......NO ONE INNOCENT DOES WHAT SHE DID DURING THE 31 DAYS AFTER CAYLEE WAS LAST SEEN! and then when it all hits the fan continues to LIE, AND LIE, AND OBSTRUCT JUSTICE AND LIE!

      July 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. hctib

    Notice she never says "Casey Anthony"...she just says tot mom. THAT'S how she gets out of defamation suits-with a moronic catch phrase!

    July 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikep

      Nancy Grace has the most punchable face.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • bernice

      This jury should have been unseated when they asked for a piece of evidence. That was an admission of prior discussion. Caylee lost

      July 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jason

    Nancy Grace is an embarassment to lawyers and journalists alike. CNN ought to be ashamed to consider news rather than anything but a demagogue.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • katter47

      Hard to understand why any defense lawyer would appear on her show. She interrupts them with sarcasm, disdain and personal insults. Guess it plays well with her "hang 'em high" audience.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Agree. Add Jane velez Mitchell to that to. She's a crazed troublemaker.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • bernice

      Nancy Grace has more knowledge in her little finger than your excuse for a brain you p-nut.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe citizen abroad

      Katter...because they want to be a recurring character in the Nancy Grace Show.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:47 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