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. hctib

    NG is a FORMER prosecutor, inasmuch as Star Jones is a former prosecutor. Neither haven't done anything in YEARS except embarrass themselves by opening their mouths.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just my opinion

      Why isn't Nancy Grace's head on a pike with the buzzards picking out her eyes yet. I specifically asked for that to be done by today.

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

      Bingo!! Right on.......I saw Star Jones on "celebrity" Jeopardy and they had an entire legal category and she missed all but one. One of them would have been: WHAT IS "HABEAUS CORPUS" .....Celebrity????

      July 6, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Frank Grana

    Nancy Grace is one of the few voices speaking for the victim, Caley Anthony. A Florida judge, not Nancy Grace, denied bail to Casey Anthony, saying Casey had shown "woeful disregard for the welfare of her child". How can you not report the disappearance of your child for a month? At minimum, Casey should be incarcerated for child abuse leading to her child's murder. Justice was not served here. RIP Caley.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eddy

      Perhaps if the talking heads & empty suits would not have convicted her and let the jury do it she might have done the right job. All those jurors were well aware of the entire case. The prosecutions continuous objections told the jury that they and George were hiding something.
      George, as an ex-cop would have known that cops eat their gun to commit suicide, not take BP pills and a six-pack of beer.....SUICIDE....BS !

      July 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Eddy

    NOT GUILTY thanks to the media vultures that make a living JUDGING people from day one as GUILTY: Nancy Grace,Jane V. Mitchel , Mike Brooks (N.Grace wana-be) and the rest of the empty suits and talking heads including you Vinnie.....One more Jean Casares!
    You all SUCK BIG TIME !!!

    July 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cecilia Chand

    Nancy Grace needs to show a little respect for our justice system. She has been smearing the jurors since the verdict, it is disgusting! For the past 3 years she has used this case for her own profit and is responsible for creating this media circus. She has whipped up this emotional frenzy with her obsession and has misrepresented the facts repeatedly, sometimes outright lying about the facts! She is the "Pied Piper" of psychotics, creating this frenzy for her ratings. She has created a dangerous situation for many of the people involved and I wish that someone could hold her accountable. I believe that without her sensationalizing aspects of this care Orlando would not have become a Mecca for morons. She has attracted scores of misguided and misinformed people to this case. I hope that now that the spotlight is squarely on her and her show that the "professional" talking heads will see the shame of this kind of sensationalism and refuse to be associated with such a disgraceful abuse of the media. (I suspect that my comments and those similar will never be posted. Alas, I spoke my mind.)

    July 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eddy

      That's what she feeds on Cecilia....to think that she gets paid for that, half truths, exaggerations and outright lies are her talent.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • malasangre

      the rush from Velez to get quotes of outrage from the courthouse groupies was weird. it's always the same kind of goober trying to be a star.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. Brain Hertz

    I am appalled that this woman sees fit to personally attack the jurors like this.

    They're doing their civic duty as required by our justice system, not getting paid megabucks to bloviate on TV. She should be deeply ashamed of herself, but I don't think she's capable.

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

    Nancy is about ratings and not justice, truth, facts. She is a prime example of guilty until proven innocent

    July 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Andrew

    Nancy's show is based strictly on her opinion and not on facts. She is the rudest and most ignorant person I've ever listened to. She gives Americans a bad name and stereotype. She is probably best friends with Sarah Palin. Both idiots! Nancy never lets anyone speak on her show, so what's the point of having them on there? Someone is going to tell her off really good one day to make her feel embarrassed! I can't wait. Go back to the trailer park Nancy!

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

    Dear Mrs Nancy Grace
    When I watched your comments in TV media, I got the senses that you tried put yourself in a position of GOD that knew every things that are happened to Caylee , in fact you are not. your speech full of hatred.you deserved to see that finaly Cassey is free and made you the looserrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I prayed sincerely for freedom of Mrs Cassey, and Jesus answered my prayers.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John S.

    I am sorry but Nancy Grace and her HLN cohorts are like a flock of vultures circling around the pool of misery that always forms in cases like this. They feast on contentious bile and then try to convince us that they are clean and pure. They are just part of an industry that is lining its pockets with the 30 pieces of silver that our ghoulish preoccupation with suffering always seems so ready to provide! CNN should be ashamed to be part of this. You are supposed to report the news not make it!

    July 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Asuits01322

    Nancy Grace is garbage! I tried watching her show a few times to catch up on current events (missing persons). She seems to find everyone guilty from the beginning. Also, she always seems to find a way to bring her twins her conversation. Who cares about her children? I watch the news to educate myself on current events, not to get a biased oppinion of some loud-mouthed crazy woman who should state the facts, not her opinion and talk about her family. Her show is for stay-at-home mothers who have to have some form of entertainment at night when Jerry Springer isn't on TV! Like I said, garbage!

    July 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eddy

      Boy did you ever get it right on....Most of her callers are trailer trash probably on welfare.........

      July 7, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John

    She is acting like a sore loser. This is not a game people get set free all the time u can't just send people to jail just cause u feel someone has to take the fall. That is how inicent people get put in jail!!!! They need to get her off the tv cuz now she is slandering a person who was found not guilty in the best justice system in the world

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

    CNN, HLN, and now ABC have all DIS"graced" themselves by offering Nancy Grace a forum and voice from which they all profit. Nothing she does on TV promotes justice or the justice system. I wonder why she abandoned the legitimate practic of her profession to become an entertainer–oh wait, maybe she wasn't such a good prosecutor; I cannot imagine her being effective with the juiries. Thank God the justice system has standards that rise above rants, tirades and opinion. I don't watch her, but it is definitely time for her to go away.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eddy

      I have never seen JUSTICE dictated by two networks plus court TV commentators and invitees talking heads. God creates them and HLN & Court TV unites them........

      July 7, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Andrew Thall

    Hey Nancy,
    Lets go catch some flys. Lets go catch some flys. Lets go catch some flys. Lets go catch some flys.
    Why, so you can pull the wings off!!!

    July 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eddy

      🙂 Out of sight Andrew 🙂

      July 7, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Chuck Gaffney

    I didn't follow the sheeple masses and go all circus crazy over this trial; frankly the people huddled over that court house & losing sleep over this should be pad-locked and put in straight jackets. Yet, one thing I can say from just looking at this from the outside... Nancy Grace is as evil and horrible as the person or people that killed that poor little girl. Terrible doesn't begin to explain both parties. I hope she and the real killer(s) (be it Casey or whoever) eventually get their just desserts.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Grams

    The Devil outsmarted all of you. The Jury's verdict needs to be over ruled by the judge and thrown out and retried. The people should be able to demand this a new trial. Are the juror's kidding? No motive = I believe The Beautiful Life says it all – when Casey contacted her family who's telephone number was she looking for? Tony the boyfriend I believe- and calling her family was a big waste. Also, I believe the prosecution explained that all routes led to Casey – she outsmarted the police by hiding the body and praying every day that the body decomposed before anyone found Caylee – that's why she freaked out when the news media showed a body had been found. She was closed mouth and endured till the end. Did anyone pick up on the defenses opening statement that Caylee died accidently = was that not an admission that Casey new the baby was dead. There was enough evidence to convict her for life- the American people need to stand up and dempand the judge overrule the verdict and have a re-trial. This was not a fair Jury – this is America anything is possible. No media, publisher or television network should pay her for anything. Our Jury System is warped and stupid...... KARMA Casey eventually. Stick to morals America and stop accepting anything LESS!!! Caylee had a evil mother, but many people have love for a little innocent angel that America has adopted.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brain Hertz

      Yeah, because that's totally how a fair justice system should work. Everybody saw it on the TV! They should rise up and demand a new "trial"! And keep doing it until one finds her guilty!

      July 6, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eddy

      Grams; You might want to get the retrial in Cuba ! GOOD LUCK !

      July 7, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
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