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. katie

    Its a sad day in america when we can't find people to serve on a jury without criminal backgrounds. It should be law that to serve on a jury each person selected will not and can not have prior arrests or convictions such as dui or drugs. This is absolutely shameful that such people are allowed to serve and judge. No wonder she got off!

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

    To Nancy Grace because you are so much a beiliever in God. "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

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

      you've got the brain of a gnat

      July 6, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. gp

    HLN shouldn't be allowed to exploit the accussed as was done in this case. In this country, your innocent until proven guilty. Spend your time and resources on the facts! Speculation is just a bunch of hot air most of us don't have time for anyway.

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

      you believe in killing kids?

      July 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. gconnelly

    nancy grace is a joke. she is a glorified soap opra. her voice wreaks through my ears. i'm sick of hearing about "the twins" like any of us care about her parenting style and/or methods. I have stopped following anything on CNN that she produces. she's the sarah palin of news.

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

      you're a bufoon

      July 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pat

    Nancy Grace and every other embarrassing screaming legal pundit calling for and predicting the death penalty should be fired. I watched CNN....it was an embarrassment.

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

      you're an idiot

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

      Thank you. I could not possibly agree more with you.

      July 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • PMD

      I am agreeing with "Pat".

      July 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jjenkins

    anyone who disagrees with nancy in this case is a typical american fig and should be nuked...i'd like to star with "dachau blues those poor jews" and "draw pilgrim 1"

    the reason your justice system is so figged up is because you're all brainwashed

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

      Nancy, girl, just post under your real name. No need to hide behind jjenkins. We know you can't keep your crazy on the downlow for long.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Walter

    I'm surprised there are so many fans of Nancy Grace that can actually read and write well enough to post comments.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Greg

    Nancy Grace says:
    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.

    She is is not in the business of forgiving, that's up to the Lord? Seriously Ms Grace? The Lord gave his life for you and forgave you for all of your sins, past, present and future and you're not in the business of forgiving? Bless you heart Nancy Grace. I forgive you for being a cold evil person. May God have mercy on you when you are standing in front of him.

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

      what's awesome is she could totally come out and tell her she did it with a smile on her face and because of double jeopardy being attatched no one could do anything.

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

      you're an moron

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

    I LOVE ALL THE EXCUSES THAT COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK!!
    the CSI effect, bad lighting, the tempurature was too high or too low. juror 3, juror hamburger, purple monkey dishwasher.
    NO!! IT WAS THE PROSECUTION'S FAULT, AND THE DEFENSE PROVED REASNABLE DOUBT!
    no need for excuses.

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

    Nancy Grace should have law license revoked. She did her level best to poison any potential member of a jury pool in the time leading up to vior dire. She is a disgrace to the profession.

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

      you should have your fingers crushed with a sledgehammer

      July 6, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chet

    Dirty Dozen...Nancy you are correct...I think everybody needs a camera on their head so that we can give evidence jury want..

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

    Is it possible that the tot was involved in a pool accident or some other type of accident, and was brain damaged or some such, and Casey decided to put the tot out of her misery with choloform and she was afraid to tell the truth for fear of getting in trouble or fear of her parents wrath, and because she didn't have the maturity or personhood to do so? She wrapped the body in trash bags/laundry bags and wrapped t it in duct tape, just as her family had done with their deceased pets. Add in some emotional disturbance and you have the the behavior that appears strange to "normal" people. Make sense?

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

    H Nancy,
    So sorry these comments are being made. You are a highly educated professional (as a I) with both renedering different opinions.
    If is because we carry those values, that set's us apart. In parta; I do think she was guilty

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

    Nancy Grace was called out multiple times by both the Georgia Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit (one step below the US Supreme Court) for flagrantly violating the rights of defendants so badly that their convictions had to be overturned. She was also called out by the same judges for her ethical missteps. If you know anything about the legal system, it is that this type of thing only happens when someone's actions are atrocious.

    She's a clown, and shouldn't be allowed to talk about the legal system on TV. Get a real lawyer up there.

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

      and you're mickey mouse....completely brainwashed and totally stupid

      July 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. S.O.

    CNN interview one of their own legal advisors...

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