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. Silverwing05

    What evidence does thew blonde bimbo actually have in her possesion that makes her belived that Casey murdered her daughter? Is she privy to evidence that the court was not? Did she sit in the courtroom, in the jury box? C.mon man! She should be removed from CNN. CNN, can't you find someone better?? She is disgustinly rude to her guests, exceptionally so to those that she does not agree with even though they are agreeing with her. Get her off the air, please!!!!!

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

      Go to sleep you dumb-dumb person. Get a job and a life and talk with us when you have a college degree.

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

      and, BTW, I'm not hiding behind a "Silverwing". That's my name. I'm not afraid of people knowing who I am nor my opinion. Look me up. I dare ya..l

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

      How stupid are you? Yes she was in the court room and heard every single thing the jurors did. It is the jurors that you should be blasting. They picked a bunch of inbred idiots from Pinellas County Florida that don't know their right from their left. A monster killed her child and got away with it and you want to trash Nancy Grace? You're sad.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      anna your a dumb @$$. Yes i have my college education in-fact, i'm getting a doctorate degree

      July 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      *you're

      July 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • anna brantham

      Derek, IT SHOWS....good luck with that.
      This is about a 2 1/2 yr old child that died....was murdered. Have some focus and compassion. If you're just a crazy-making onlooker, step off. This is serious business in that a child has died IN VAIN. Be respectful of others and their concern for the remembrance of Caylee. Please try not to be an angry idiot.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Silverwing05

      I do not have to defend myself from idiots like you. I am one that believes a person is innocent until proven guilty, unlike the blonde bimbo. From day one, the blonde bimbo has accused Casey of murder without knowing the evidence, with extreme bias from a prosecuters view. There is no place in society for bimbos like her and CNN would do us all a favor by cancelling her show. As for your responses to my comments, I only hope that one day you don't find yourself onb the wrong side of an over zealous priosecutor that share the views of a person like the bloned bimbo. However, it might be good for you. You will learn that the justice system works. This jury did the right thing. The killier of the poor unfortunate soul, in fact if it was murder, is still out there and needs to be caught. Most likely this disfuntional family is hiding some thing and the truth is inbetween the lies this family told. Sad is a feeling of unhappiness, despondent, disconsolate, discouraged, gloomy, downcast, downhearted, depressed, dejected, melancholy. This certain describe you and your reply to my post. CNN, please get the blonde bimbo off the air.

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

      So let me get this straight, so many people on here HATE Nancy Grace and want to bash her over and over again but yet here you are reading a Nancy Grace headline and wasting your time commenting on HER. That's like researching how to kill someone on the internet then duck taping your child's nose and mouth after chloroforming them and throwing them in the trunk of your car before discarding their body in a ditch... and dont forget partying for 31 days straight without mention of the missing child but then saying "it was an accident" when you get caught.... In other words, its an moronic thing to do and it MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tot-Mom-Mom in PA

    Nancy Grace is a has-been walking,talking tabloid! Why should anyone want to "buy" her one-sided, always-right, mumbo-jumbo?! She has now managed to enrage a "lynch-mob"....should be a law against this! Had to laugh with the accounting by Sharon K. of Miami...SO VERY TRUE!!!! If Nancy was such a great prosecutor...why isn't she still doing it? (and I really don't want to re-hear her sob story on this)....they probably begged her to leave law! I could go on and on....she is really out-there! But one thing is for sure....her show(s) should be cancelled and another network should not even consider her for their network! SHE ACTS CRAZY !!!!!
    NHL/CNN : GET HER OFF THE AIR.....she'll take you down!

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

      NHL? The National Hockey League?

      I believe you mean HLN.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Donald Hillman

    She hasn't agreed with to many verdicts. It wasn't long ago that she got the Michael Jackson verdict wrong also. She works her audience up that the verdict will be guilty and she chastises and ridicules guests that side with the defense. No balanced reporting there. She keeps looking like the fool missing key defense issues like lack of evidence, motive, etc. We don't need her commentary as it is identical to the prosecutors.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jill

    'Juror Jennifer Ford told ABC News that she and the other jurors cried and were "sick to our stomachs" after voting to acquit Anthony. "I did not say she was innocent," said Ford, who had previously only been identified as juror number 3. "I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be."'

    That is from another CNN article. You cannot convict somebody and especially put them to death if the proof isn't there. And to Nancy, if you are all-knowing, why don't we put you on the stand for every case you cover?? You always seem to "know" who is guilty, whether it is proven or not!

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

      Just goes to show you what idiots the jury were. They were NOT supposed to consider the punishment! They were simply to determine whether guilty or not.

      If you go seeking a jury that does not read newspapers or watch television, you get a roomful of idiots.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. gussie1

    No attorney or celebrity talk show host has a right to pronounce another human being innocent or guilty before all evidence has been heard and a verdict delivered. This inflammatory and disparaging biased reporting disgusts me. Furthermore it incites people not familiar with legal due process and those who have a vendetta or blood thirst based on ignorance and/or dysfunction. Can we please replace Grace, Drew, Phil and all the other sensation seeking celebrinothings with intelligent professionals who don't seek 'FAME'.

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

      So very true..

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

    Nancy will never understand what a problem she is. And she will never be able to stop herself from trying and convicting people on TV before they even get to a fair trial. She is a close-minded, self-promoting waste of time.

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

      Umm, then why are you here wasting your time and ours?

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

      HAHAHA! good one, Rorn

      July 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rorn

    You dont put duck tape on a drowned dead child even if she did "accidentally" drown in the pool. There has been countless cases where there was no murder weapon found and the EVIDENCE was enough to convict. There is so much evidence in this case that points to the murderer that I don't even know where to begin. What is wrong with you people defending this murderer?? I dont know who Im more disgusted with, Casey or the idiots that are on her side!

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

      AMEN! Where is the justice for this child??? Why are people so consumed with her mother?? DOES ANYONE REMEMBER BABY CAYLEE....JUST BARELY ALMOST 3 YRS OLD??? SHE DIED WITH TAPE OVER HER MOUTH AND NOSE??? HELLO, IDIOTS?? Does not a single one of you care to remember this baby girl???? If you don't, it's sickening.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lawman

    All of the forensic experts admitted they could not determine cause of death. Ergo, no homicide could be proven by the evidence. The thing that really surprised me is that the jury took so long reaching the only legal conclusion, based on the evidence and not on emotion. I'm not saying Casey didn't do it. I'm saying the State did not prove that anyone killed this child. Many of us were not at all surprised at the verdict. Those jurors really earned my respect when they delivered the correct verdict despite the pressure they were under to commit a grave injustice by the shameful media sensationalists like Nancy Grace and the lynch mob mentality they stirred up in the masses.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim S.

      Most educated and on-point post so far, sir.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sophie

      I know, people duck tape their kids mouths and nose shut after giving them chloroform and drive them around in the trunk of their cars before throwing their dead bodies in a ditch all the time! Why would anyone even begin to think poor Casey did anything wrong! So glad those jurors thought so as well, hopefully they will get to have the same experience Caylee did because apparently it was just one big day at the park that people just cant comprehend.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. weatherwitch

    It is difficult for me to see CNN as a news outlet when they continue to air Nancy Grace. She appeals to the least common denominator in us all by using half truths and insinuation to reach ever-higher levels of self righteous outrage. I'm sure that she improves ratings, much as a car wreck does, but she should be sent into the same oblivion as Glen Beck. The world would be a better place.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. A Florida Lawyer

    I'll give Nancy ONE bit of credit ... at least she is a former prosecutor, and has the professional pedigree (and a frame of reference) from which to speak and give opinions on criminal law cases. Even Geraldo Rivera is a law school graduate (I'm not sure if he ever practiced) and has some basis from which to speak on these matters. BUT WHAT GIVES "DR. DREW" THE QUALIFICATIONS TO BE A "CRIMINAL LAW EXPERT" ??? I guess I missed something, but when did "Dr. Drew" go from "addictions counselor" and host of "Celebrity Rehab" to legal system commentator and jury trial analyst? I watched the first 5 minutes of his interview with prosecutor Jeff Ashton, and turned it off after his absurd first question. He asked, "So Jeff, what do you REALLY think happened to Caley?" Jeff paused, tried to be polite as possible, and said "Well, uh, like I said in my opening and closing arguments, I believe Casey murdered Caley." (Call me crazy, but what did the "good doctor" EXPECT Jeff to say?)

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

      Apparently you have some bitterness towards Dr. Drew. Sounds personal. Maybe you should just handle that with him directly. Don't be passive aggressive with your anger.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nelson Bench

    For years it is easy to see that Nancy Grace is extreme in her views, and she sensationalizes this Casey case; she is so biased, it is quite easy to see. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY A GOOD NEWS SERVICE LIKE CNN HIRES A PERSONALITY LIKE NANCY GRACE.....It is so easy to see that she is incorrect in her reporting, and so biased and she does come off as a NUT. Why does CNN what a NUT on the air every night...I avoid the Headline News channel like the plague...due to NANCY NUT GRACE and her Tot Mom rants....CNN please do not extend her contact please!!!!!!

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

      So true..She is a self-serving, evil woman without a care for the lives she destroy in her quest for ratings..

      July 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • elizabeth

      I fully agree with you. The name she has given Casey "Tot Mom" is uncalled for. Casey may or may not be guilty but in Nancy Grace's eyes everyone is guilty. Nancy does indeed distort the truth sp what right does she have to be so unprofessional. I an assure you Jeff Aston would never go on her show. He is far too classic for her

      July 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. elizabeth

    Nancy Grace, Your behaviour about the Anthony case is so far out of line. Take a leaf out of Jeff Aston's book and act like a professional. We are sick and tired of you embelshing on this and other cases. Tell it the way it is. You won't listen to others who don't agree with you.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. the majority

    Nancy "dis"Grace shut up u have to be one of the most annoying people on this planet and thank god ur no longer in a position to prosecute people even though u try to. You should have been disbarred for sum of ur antics while a prosecutor. Down with "dis" Grace

    July 6, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kris10

    I think people should give Nancy a break. If you don't like her show then don't watch it. If you don't have the mental capacity to know how to turn off your tv or switch the channel when you don't like what you are watching... I suggest putting your helmet back on before your hurt yourself.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bobbi

    I would NEVER dispute Nancy Grace's right to freedom of speech; I vehemently dispute her right to distort the truth and incite anger in the public to the level that she did. That is NOT part of Ms. Grace's first amendment right. Ms. Grace, you need to go back and review the case law on your first amendment rights; you have abused your right and are an insult to the legal profession.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • eastcoast

      While I dont like NG's style at all, I am equally appalled that Jose was allowed to stand in a courtroom and call George Anthony a child molester who put his penis in his daughters mouth without one witness or shred of proof.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
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