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. joann

    Dear Nancy,You are too great a judge.No,way are you trash like some people say. I,agree with you,that Caylee is in a better place now.Her,mom can not hurt her.Caylee is with the Lord. JoAnn Bartholomew

    July 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed Sr

      Jo Ann........the Lord doesn't like Nancy Grace.........sorry about that.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • casey anthony

      i'm in a better place too thanx to what i've wrought, thanx jury of incompetent morons

      July 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. maggieb

    While I'm no fan of Nancy, she's right in this particular situation. I believe that exhaustion overwhelmed the jury. They should never have been asked to sit through long, technical explanations for days on end while sequestered. Very few people have the ability to keep their focus through something like that. Plus I think just being isolated for such a long period may have somehow made them less objective – less distanced – from the arguments. Finally, I think the prosecutor was possibly too dismissive of defense counsel. Many of us knew that he was doing a poor job, didn't have the experience, was fumbling the ball, but all that was kept (quite properly) from the jury. So when the prosecutor laughed at him or made sarcastic comments, I think some members of the jury might have been offended. As a lawyer, I see that as does Nancy Grace, but sometimes we forget how much less an average person understands and how they may view confrontations/arguments/ridicule that occur between counsel. I am not a criminal attorney, so I say this only as someone who "gets" the law side of things. I would have chosen prosecutors who were more sympathetic – someone who could allow the defense to bury himself without attacking him – allow the jurors to conclude that he's incompetent rather than announcing it to the world. Even I was offended by the laughing/nose rubbing antics – just not professional. But they acquitted someone who is clearly guilty. No one may ever know why.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • casey anthony

      i agree

      July 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pilgrim1

    Let's not forget that little miss perfect Nancy Dis-Grace was twice reprimanded for poor ethics in her own practice of the law, and yet she still has her law license. What a failure of justice!

    I suggest you all read about Nancy's overzealous past!

    July 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      Hey, if Orly Taitz still has her license, Nancy Grace should keep hers...in the drawer at home.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • ktgrl

      Did you just say "little miss perfect?" Yet, you took the time to correct my grammar when I was writing in a stream of consciousness mode. I don't support Grace, but I am quite confused at your logic. Kudos to your grammar. You must be really insecure.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • ktgrl

      Wait, I mean I am quite confused BY your logic. Damn my grammar. Guess I should go to the community college you attended. I'd have more time as a housewife to attend to my prepositions.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rose

    Nancy Grace show is the ENQUIRER of TV

    July 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rose Is

      right on!

      July 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • casey anthony

      if not for her i'd of had an easier job of getting off, but that biotch has made the rest of my life quite difficult, amen say some

      July 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. pajuju

    I am appalled that HLN is a sister company of CNN. She takes you, CNN from an A to a high D. She's had numerous ethical problems in the past. On Nightline last night she said that one of the jurors on the Anthony case has a DUI and another a drug conviction but claims to respect the judicial system. She and many of the other talking heads are trying desperately to blame anyone and anything else except for the simple fact.......The jury found her not guilty, the state did not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, period.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • iBod

      Couldn't stop laughing last night when she kept going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on..........thinking her opinion was professionally said, and rightfully mattered...No. Just...no. LOL! 🙂

      July 6, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • gconnelly

      pajuju you are so very right. i'm annoyed with myself that i'm wasting my time writing about her only it feels good because she's such a pathetic crack pot that i can't believe a reputable news venue would give her a voice. hmmm maybe cnn isn't that reputable. it just feels good to gripe about her.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rick

    Typical media ... Tried and condemed before hearing both sides. This lady is what makes me want to not watch news anymore. I am sorry but if duct tape is put on flesh and the flesh rots , does it still adhere to the bones ? I would think it would go with the flesh as it rots people

    July 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • casey anthony

      you're idiocy is too great to even comment upon, just know that i'm grateful to have jury rigged the jury such that i can now walk with impunity after having killed caylee to suit my own desires. thanks to pinheads like you, i'm free.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jon Faulds

    It is a testament to the criminal justice system, and the jury system in particular, that they were able to deliver a verdict without being influenced by the hysterical, hi-tech, lynching mentality displayed by commentators such as Ms. Grace. Her refusal to acknowledge what is evident to even the casual observer with some legal experience – that the case against Ms. Anthony was woefully weak - suggests an unacceptable level of personal investment and bias. Ms. Grace should also consider this. If, as she so vehemently believes, juries can get it wrong, then there are undoubtedly many persons in America's already overcrowded prisons put there because of jury errors the other way.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • casey anthony

      although i'm guilty, i agree with you that some uneducated jurors and profligates thereon were able to be so confused and incapable of critical thinking that i'm held unaccountable for my misdeeds, you're an idiot just like i wanted on the jury, thanx for your support pinhead

      July 6, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dennis

    Nancy Grace is only in it for herself – she is a clown – shame on CNN for given her a and Jane a voice!

    July 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Name*brian

    Good call statsbackbabe. Did I miss Nancy's apology to the duke lacross team?

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

    I've watched grace 2 or 3 times.
    Every time I see her on HLN I change the channel.
    I just don't like her.
    I too believe that Anthony was guilty, but I also have some doubts.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • casey anthony

      how many ways do i have to make it clear to you that i murdered my daughter? you're as dimwitted as this jury. the jury is a microchasm of the idiocy in America which my attorneys capitalized upon you moron.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. unslient majority

    people need to realize nancy is only doing her job, as a prosecutor. if you witness any of her cases you would understand so stop hating on her understand thats what a prosecutor does , great job nancy we love you keep up your awsome work and dont listen to these haters 🙂

    July 6, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      She is just a media bounty hunter. There is more to this case than she will ever know

      July 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Disgrace

      You would be closer to the unslient (your spelling) minority.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      She was not a prosecutor on this case and should have kept her mouth shut!

      July 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • gconnelly

      speak for yourself unslient majority. whoever "we" is in your world isn't the same as mine.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • drbasic

      When you say "we", please do not include me. Thank You

      July 7, 2011 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dcastell

    Nancy Grace diminishes the value of CNN as a legitimate, reliable news organization. How can we take this network seriously?

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

      i was rightly fearful of her vehemence since she knew what i had done, but thankfully pinheads like you exist to help set me free with impunity, thanx @ass

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

    She ought to know better than to sit in judgement on someone else's case. She has made herself irrelevant by being so outspoken a Madame Defarge.

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

      Karen ... Thumbs up to you !!!!
      I guess if people do not like our legal system move to the middle east , and get your heads cut off instantly. No trial . just what people believe

      July 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • casey anthony

      amen! the legal system when jury rigged works very well, boy am i relieved and ready to party just as i was when my daughter was eliminated by my own selfish hands, thanx for your support pinhead

      July 6, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Brian Boone

    Nancy Grace refuses to give any credit to the defense. That's how incredibly biased she is. She can't help but look through her amazingly tinted glasses and she knows everything. To disagree just proves you are wrong, because the all knowing Nancy Grace never makes a mistake. I can't stand that self righteous POS.

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

      only she knows what i've done

      July 6, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Scott

    You don't agree with the verdict? Simply because you tried her in the media, and now you look stupid?
    She may well be guilty of murder, but show one peice of evidence that proves it.....anyone?

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

      I lied about her for weeks, I celebrated her absence, i discarded her near my home, i searched for ways to kill, i showed no grief or reaction to her loss, i lie about everything, i'm young and selfish, how's that pinhead?

      July 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm | 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