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. carolclean1

    she was found not can believe what you want, but as news reporter, stop with your PERSONAL slant on life.... this is america....ITS OVER

    July 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. GBlane

    Um...Nancy? You would get rid of jurors because they aren't perfect and have records...BUT, give value to hearsay from inmates? That makes zero sense...Ex prosecutor!

    July 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nate

    CNN should wake up and realize that Nancy Grace is an embarrassment. Regardless of verdict or outcome of this case, her comments and behaviour are a turn off. Will never watch CNN or read online news again.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. R A

    I feel sorry for the pig's twins. Can you imagine the emotional scars those kids will have from living in the same household as this shrewish waste of DNA?

    July 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. SaraLynn

    WOW SO THERES ALREADY A MOVIE IN THE WORKS! http://www.totmommovie. com has been bought up and they are advertising for summer 2013

    July 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brandy

    YOU GO, NANCY! Tot mom was guilty, guilty, guilty! How dare people accuse you of being unethical or a blowhard? I may not always agree with what you say or how you say it (although in this case, I most certainly did) but I will always defend your right to say it, on or off the air. I'm a newspaper editor and I can say with some authority, excellent coverage of the entire case. I also want to say keep it up, but that means there someday will be another tot mom out there. Still, if there is, I'm sure you'll present the whole truth.

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

      Newspaper editor, huh? Weekly World News? Hooterville World Guardian? Where did you get your journalism credentials? Nancy is all about opinion, and never just about facts.

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

      I agree. Good work, Nancy. If these people have kids who mysteriously go missing they will want everyone looking and would appreciate you highlighting it on your show. These people are so weird with their comments. The disdain for Nancy is awful. CASEY MURDERED HER DAUGHTER. The jurors were IDIOTS.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny

      Brandy, honey, get a clue! In 3 years, Nancy Grace never even figured out how to pronounce Caylee's name!!!! She was saying something like Keiley or Kelly.........instead of Caylee, with a long "A", like the word daily. If she's a broadcast journalist, in court hearing the name repeatedly, you would think that it would dawn on her how to pronounce her name, especially in hearing the family members pronounce it first hand! Just how brainless IS Nancy Grace??? SHE HAS NO CREDIBILITY and ZERO PROFESSIONALISM.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      I never called NG an unethical blowhard.

      I called her a carnival barker with a talent for exploitation. This whole case is an argument for kicking those damn cameras out of the courtroom. Dumb people are getting confused......

      July 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Thinkingman

    Has Nancy EVER sided with the accused in any case? From what I have seen, she ALWYS takes the position that the person charged with a crime must be guilty. How'd that work out for the Duke lacrosse case? Now she is wrong again, and she still won't admit it. She is downright scary.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ktgrl

    Never liked Grace. Regardless, I have been a big CNN supporter until now, and this, and all of how CNN has dealt with the case, has pushed me over the line. I am liberal. I was a young single mom. I have struggled, been on medicaid, then Medical School. I have never forget who I am though. But this is ridiculous. Quite frankly, I am sad for the whole ordeal, but proof beyond a reasonable doubt is PROOF – not dislike, distaste, likelihood, or a guessing game. Sadly, it isn't always fair, and who knows in this case. I uphold what a Chris Hayes on MSNBC said about this sick need to latch onto popular speculation regarding a crime (please look up the Cory Mayes story and listen to this report

    "The truly horrifying thought on a day when the country’s attention is so focused on murder and justice is that while a case like Casey Anthony’s can command our national attention, there are almost certainly other Cory Mayes out there who languish out of the spotlight.

    Imagine a world in which Nancy Grace devoted herself to securing justice for them.”

    CNN, you have lost a follower.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pilgrim1

      For a doctor (or Med student) you sure do use poor grammar!

      July 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ktgrl

      Thanks, Pilgrim. Wasn't going for grammar. Nor am I now. I am writing my thoughts as I think them, and if you'd like, I'll be happy to spell check tomorrow.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. thatguy

    I have never been a fan of Nancy Grace, going back to her Court TV days. How can she be 100% certain that Casey did this? Was she there? Was she holding the roll of duck tape for Casey? What will she say if new evidence comes to light that shows that Casey is 100% innocent? Will she apologize? I think as a journalist she needs to take it down a notch to retain any journalistic integrity she has left.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Danny

    I encourage everyone to write CNN at the "Contact Us" Link below and demand that she be replaced. Enough is enough! And don't stop there. Go over to ABC and demand the same.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |



      July 7, 2011 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jumping in

    First the jurors are idiots, no motive- Motive does not have to be proven,and not a homicide.-really Ask yourself this, if your daughter was found double bagged in your laundry bag and favorite blankey an tossed into the woods and you knew for a fact that you didn't do it and your husband didn't do it and a 3 year old tot certainly didn't crawl into the bag herself..for goodness sakes when it happens to YOUR CHILD I will be the first to say WHAT HOMICIDE, WHAT HOMICIDE.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff

    Nancy Grace is a well-paid carnival barker. Say what you want the end of the day Nancy Grace made money on this, and lots of it.
    What can be said about someone that makes money off a tragedy like the death of a little girl.

    It is called exploitation and to Nancy Grace's credit she is very good at it.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • R A

      Hey, need to insult carnival barkers.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jerry walters

    Nice try Nasty DisGrace but your time has come and gone. You are a caricature of what you once were and you now live in the hate. The VAST majority of people on all the comments sections detest you. Nice accomplishment ... make your fortune off of others horrors and sleep tight every night. You are truly trash.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dee

    Time for Ms Grace to go. She is doing the country the greatest disservice and that is deciding guilt before guilt has been proven by a court of law. I understand she was disbarred as a Prosecutor and I think, at this time, she should be disbarred from television.

    She is a nation's true travesty!

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

      Nancy Grace is needs to get over herself and go away...,,,,most of us have done just fine without her for many years ...we dont need her now!!

      July 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. s

    super loved it! you go nancy!

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