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. Marcelle

    Nancy! You are awesome, I am so glad that you are saying "out loud" what needs to be said. Since yesterday I have been feeling disgusted about what this world is coming to so it is good to hear you tell it how it is and how it really happened...

    July 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank Brady

      Nancy Grace is a disgusting show-boating pig.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Nancy is a shrew , a very misinformed person. I really wonder if she even knows what she is talking about. She must have been a lousy DA if she is reduced to TV reporting. Wake up Marcelle, see the light.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris Kringle

      No a Headline News watcher!

      July 6, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • drbasic

      Nancy awesome???......better google that!

      July 7, 2011 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      I agree with you Marcelle. If anyone ever had a child missing, we would all want her ranting and raving our story at all hours of the day. These idiots that are calling her a pig are disgusting.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. Marion

    http://www.weaselzippers.us

    PHOTO OF CHENEY MASON PARTYING 1 BLOCK FROM COURTHOUSE AND FLIPPING OFF ANYONE LOOKING

    July 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • R A

      So? This affects the lousy prosecution case how?

      July 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jess

      Real Classy!! Just like Casey Anthony.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nancy Grace's Record

    Nancy Grace was a hack prosecutor with multiple ethics violations from the state of Georgia

    July 6, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Nancy Grace needs to be disbarred. And this has nothing to do with whether or not Casey Anthney murdered her daughter. Sure Nancy can have freedom of speech all she wants, but lawyers do not have carte blanch to say what they want under the guise of "freedom of speech". When you are sworn in as a lawyer, you have certain ethical duties and obligations to live up to that constrain certain freedoms you would otherwise have. A member of the BAR should never disparage a jury or speak of defendants as she routinely does on her show. Her disdain for the jury system of this country and this jury's verdict sickens me. We do not have a system that railroads defendants from the start, as she often does on her program. This women profits off the murder and sufferring of others, she is NOT an advocate for justice.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy Is A Harpy

      She also thought the Duke lacrosse team was guilty. What a track record this harpy has.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tonya

      I am am Def. not a fan of her show. The way she acts and carries on, it gives lawyers a bad name:p..Ppl clue in she WAS a lawyer..and how does she act any different? But seriously..she drives me..:s

      July 9, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. faye

    Have you considered Casey could have drown Calee in the pool, took her out, laid her on the ground to put the tape on her face, maybe was going to bury her and decided against it knowing her parents would see the fresh dirt. That could be why the dogs picked up her scent in the back yard. The tape was just insurance to be sure she was dead. Just a thought.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Have you considered there is absolutely nothing to support anything you just said?

      July 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kevin

    Nancy Grace, just shut up! Please! Go away!

    July 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BobInIrvine

    Nancy Grace said "The jury is the sole judge of facts, evidence and the law."

    Um, Nancy sweetie, no. The jury is the TRIER of FACT. The judge is the judge of evidence and the law. You've been out of the courthouse too long.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Well said Bob!!

      July 6, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • PMD

      Great comment from an intelligent person. Blatantly shows how ignorant of the law NG is – that is Law 101. Jury is the trier of fact. Wow. She is a complete blowhard. Cannot believe CNN has her on the air. And Mitchell needs to go too – running through a parking lot (live) for an interview ? Please CNN – come to your senses and replace these two airheads.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. timwarren82

    Please get rid of Nancy.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • oldman57

      Yes, CNN please!

      July 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe M.

    The public does not have to confrom its opinion to that of the jury. The public was able to see every bit as much of the evidence as the jury was able to, and thus was able to come to its own conclusion. The public has every right to believe she is guilty, and proclaim as such. The only difference between the public and the jury's opinion is that the jury's opinion could have sentenced her to death.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSEPH

      Yeah right, tell me how that work with all of the lynching that occured against blacks in south. When the "Public" becomes the judge, jury and executioner that's what you have...A Lynch mob!

      July 6, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jz1

    The jury is the sole judge of facts, evidence and the law. A quote from Nancy the know nothing.

    Go back to law school Nancy the Judge interperts the Law, the jury the facts. Some prosecutor you must have been . If you were as good at that, as you are bad at being a broadcaster, whoever you prosecuted must have been happy to see you on the other side of the aisle.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rage

    Nancy Grace is an idiot. How the hell did she get on tv.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • tomict

      how did she get on tv? hmmm....lessee....how did ellen the degenerate get on tv? how did rozie o'dozie get on tv? how did j leno geto on tv? hell, even rikki lake had a talk show, carnie wilson too! all ya gotta do is show your ignorance and there will be a group of idiots around to call it entertaining! that's how she got on tv! god bless america!

      July 6, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wallis3

      ...That my friends is THE REAL QUESTION..!.It's a pitty. So many talented people out there and we have to swallow this nutty blonde.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Christian

      Entertainment. HLN is the equivalent of TMZ.

      July 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JImG

    She was a lousy prosecutor in Ga. and is a perfect example of what is wrong with this country....

    July 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John

    Nancy, you are a useless windbag. You were wrong on the Duke lacross team, and you are wrong here.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Andrew Morency

    Way to go Nancy. You are right on. This jury was flawed.....some coming out seem border-line clueless. Guess Mark Twain was right about juries.
    Keep up the good work

    July 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MARION

    NASTY DEFENSE !!!

    http://weaselzippers.us/2011/07/06/kodak-moment-casey-anthony’s-attorney-flipping-off-the-media/

    July 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Amanda

    I think Nancy Grace is a disgrace - everyone seems to forget how she bullied a young mother on her show– who proceeded to commit suicide– NG said she was a horrible mother and that is why her child died. Ms. Grace you spoke on CNN about Casie Anthony and others (including drunk driving jurors) making millions off her case AND YOU???? I'm sure you've made millions off this case and you are a bully and a ratings "wh-" You put the legal profession and well meaning prosecutors and defense attorneys as well as innocent people to shame! Take a look in the mirror.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allan

      Nancy Grace should be banned from TV.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      and considered for censure for disrespecting the process and profession of law.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Uhhhh, that mother commited suicide because she was GUILTY!!! Not because She bullied her. I pray that we would NEVER be in a position of having a missing child...but if that happened you would be BEGGING her to cover it.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
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