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. ROCK

    Let's ALL BOYCOTT any future Casey Anthony Interviews, movies or book deals. BOYCOTT BOYCOTT!

    July 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • bernice

      God Bless little Caylee cause these jurors were stupid

      July 6, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoDoubt

      Exactly. Plus, she WILL mess up again in the future. Just a question of when and how. Hopefully she won't ever breed again.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rorn

    Are you kidding me Dee? "She [Nancy Grace] is doing the country the greatest disservice and that is deciding guilt before guilt has been proven by a court of law". Anyone who has followed this case for any given time would know without a doubt that Tot mom is as guilty as sin. A child murderer goes free but you say Nancy Grace is the nations travesty? Do YOU chloroform and duck tape your childs mouth shut before throwing them in the trunk of your Sunbird for a joy ride? Is that why you want to defend a murderer and blast a person who has the guts to say "she did it"?

    July 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stuart Dooley

      Prove it. That's how our justice system works, Nancy should know better.

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

      You lost all of the intelligent people at "tot mom". You may as well just call her Ore Ida. It's just as ridiculous and indicative of trailer park roots.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveP

      And prove OJ is guilty too. Wow, a few naive people out here tonight.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveP

      ...and the one thing that makes ours the greatest legal system in this world is the very thing that makes it one of the more fallible as well.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mark Trexler

    Nancy Grace is at the bottom of the food chain. She destroyed one mom to the point where the mom committed suicide. She's made more than a million dollars with her non stop babble about this case. As for this jury, they did the right thing. They didn't convict someone on hearsay and rumors. They made their decision on the evidence presented by the state, which came no where near the ability to convict someone of first degree murder. No motive, no murder weapon, no DNA, and the list goes on and on. In the end, the only conviction was on stacked charges. And the reason they were stacked is because the Prosecutor wanted to throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and hoped something would stick. Now, that's pathetic. It's just sad this young child lost her life and we may never know how.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Acaraho

      What about Richard Ricci, the guy NG "convicted" of the abduction of Elizabeth Smart. He died in jail and then they found Elizabeth Smart with Brian Mitchell. NG uses people regardless of whether or not they are guilty or innocent and she doesn't care whether or not they are guilty or innocent as long as she drums up ratings and self serves her millionaire salary. She is a bloodsucker in the true sense of the word.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JakeH

    To: The CNN Board of Directors

    From: A former fan of CNN

    Subject: Nancy Grace

    FIre this woman rapidly. Your future as a viable and credible news organization is at stake. Continuing to give this woman a place in your family of networks is a certain path to becoming the "National Enquirer" of broadcast news.

    Wake Up!

    July 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stuart Dooley

      Totally agree, CNN used to be a respected name, now it's just like any other tabloid journalism show out there.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JJ

    Nobody cares if you agree with the jury. You're nothing but a useless rabble-rousing female of the species.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Vero

    Was it just me? Did anyone else notice? Seemed like Casey, during the not guilty aftermath, was trying to flirt with a young dark handsome attorney that came in to shake hands with the team and Casey. She gave him a stare and her eyes opened wide like she was trying to flirt with him. Odd that she would do that after all the emotion of the moment.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously

      It may be time for you to turn off the TV and re-engage with the outside world. The trail is ove rnow and I don't think there's much demand for an after-the-verdict-flirting-by-the-defendant-monitor. Well, except perhaps on the Nancy Grace Show.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Candie

    CNN/HLN needs to drop Nancy Grace. INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY!!!

    July 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveP

      And, as is he case here...innocent despite guilt.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Stuart Dooley

    You don't have to agree, that's right, but you are usually wrong. How she still has a show is beyond me.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • dale.zalewski

      ehhhh, everytine I hear this ignorant broad go off on one of her opinionated rants I pause for a reality check and remind myself that opinions are like a-$-$-h-o-l-e-s.....everybody's got one.

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

    Completeley agree with Nancy...She is 100% correct..

    July 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stuart Dooley

      So you are wrong most of the time too?

      July 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveP

      Nice try, Stu. Delusion.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Acaraho

    She ought to be forced to change her name to Nancy Disgrace.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. robert

    The Real Story. Caylee tragically drowned in the families backyard pool. Casey completely freaked out.In Casey's warped way of thinking, it was decided to make it look like a kidnapping and homicide. She placed duct tape over Caylee's mouth. She put the body in her trunck. drove around with it there until she had to get rid of it. Then placed Caylee at the site where she was eventually found. Does this make her a horrible person, yes. My question to you is, does this make her a murderer

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

      No, that does not. The fact that she murdered her own child with malice of forethought, on the other hand, does make her a murderer.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Haha. Your d u m b if u believe that actually happened.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      YES. You are delusional; the child DID NOT drown. She was killed by the hands of her mother. I guess there are more than 12 stupid people who truly believe Jose Baez fake theory given to him by his pathological liar client b

      July 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      YES. You are delusional; the child DID NOT drown. She was killed by the hands of her mother. I guess there are more than 12 stupid people who truly believe Jose Baez fake theory given to him by his pathological liar client.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveP

      I still suspect suicide. That's about as plausible as Casey Anthony being innocent. Criminally naive.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously

      Good to see that the Psychic Network has moved to the internet.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Beverly

    Who is paying her attorney fees?

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

      Given the amount of money she's made spewing her drivel about the case....Nancy Grace should pay for the trial. I'm sure she'd still have a hefty profit left.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rick

    And one thing . I know little Caylee is is in the arms of GOD. That is what everyone is forgetting

    July 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Macy

      That is the only comforting fact.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Zero1020

    Every time this horrible person opens her big fat mouth America is disgraced. She should be disbarred and fired from HLN for starting this witch hunt against Casey.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveP

      Witch hunt my backside. I guess OJ was innocent too, right? Delusion.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • KathySanDiego

      I wrote HLN that very thing. She has no business on tv. She lies, distorts and misleads her audience. Send her to Fox, she'll fit right in with her delusions of grandeur. Nancy Grace should go away, she's a disgrace.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveP

      Kathy...forest and the trees. Eye on the ball here. A young girl was tragically murdered by her mother. The fact that Nancy Grace is a hack is of little consequence in the grand scheme. So, she is annoying? Annoying is nowhere near as egregious as a parent taking the life of her child. Don't let the trees obscure the tragic view.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MBowen

    Nancy is the single reason I stopped watching HLN completely. She is 100% biased, so narrow minded that her notepads are only 1/2 inch wide. She is so positive everything she does is perfect, and no one else can ever be right except the fools that call in and fawn all over her. Always have to hear each caller talk about "Nancy's babies" like that has anything to do with the news. All she wants to do is declare who she thinks is guilty, and then refuse to listen to any other option. She's an idiot.

    HLN has become a station of left-wing talk shows all evening, and they don't mention the news at all. I think they should be charged with false advertising for calling themselves a News network..Maybe that's why they changed their name from Headline News to HLN, since they don't show any news. Just idiots like Nancy Grace and the others.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
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