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. Syd

    I think goofy Grace pay CNN to be the host rather get paid from CNN .

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

      Nancy Grace makes money off of dead kids...she is a loser saying Casey will make money off of this well Nancy all you do is make money off of dead kids with your stupid show go to facebook search i hate nancy grace it has balloned overnight look at the comments on ther you are a disgrace to tv reporting

      July 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kandy

    I LOVE Nancy Grace & I think it's awesome that she stands up for the victims! I don't see how any jury couldn't see that lie after lie after lie Casey Anthony wiped away any reasonable doubt of her guilt! Wow she'll get out, have another child & have a chance to murder it as well! Sad sad day in America!

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

      What kind of person calls a child "it"?!? You better watch out, Nancy may deem you the next TOT MOM!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • briguy

      you like Nancy do you hmmmm you like that she makes money off of dead kids nice

      July 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • briguy

      This woman is a menace to society. She has caused the death (by suicide) of at least one innocent. She attempts to sway the American Justice system with her biased rants. She refuses to accept responsibility when she is wrong. Casey Anthony has not lied nearly as much as Nancy Grace has. Her book is full of lies about her marriage, her twins, the death of her fiance. We demand that HLN take this monster off the air

      July 6, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. alan

    Nancy. As a retired canadian police officer I find it interesting that you all blame the jury,and the prosecution. The problem is that you and the media got on this story with the intention of investigation, trying and executing the mother. In doing so, you put pressure on the police, as your sherrifs offices are elected, to get this case to court. The result was that a poorly prepared case was given to the prosecutors as it was too early. If the media would have backed off, the police could have wiretapped, investigated until the evidence was beyond a resonable doubt, Casey Anthony is deceased and there should have been plenty of time to investigate as there is no statute of limitation on murder. You have no one but yourselves to blame for the hurried, rushed and poorly prepared case against this person.

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

      You are so wrong. I care less if you are retired ex-offer – this is a pulic trial and with that, why should the media not cover trials. Do you know all the missing children out there – not found, and you know the police rely on the media to help bring attention and help in the search. Don't blame NG for investigators not finding what they need – they are the only ones that anwer that question. Casey lied to police over and over – why with their experience, could they not get her to crack? Is that NG's fault too. You need to hear what the Jurors said, they were missing information – and no one could tell what happened to Caylee after she was decomposed for so long. Put your angry to the right person if you are really concerned about the victim, that being Caylee – at Casey. She is the one that put this investigation at risk and she alone. I wonder why the great police of Orlando could not get her to tell the truth.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elaine

      Bravo! Well said!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy Is A Harpy

      Well said.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. J

    While I agree with her views, I think Nancy Grace needs help.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Le

    Nancy Grace is correct, because she was found not guilty does not mean she did notmean she did not kill her daughter, she did. We all know it and the evidence points to her. Just because it was minus a few details, doesn't make her innocent of murdering her daughter. The jury instructions was the problem, too complex. In fact two jurors said they wish there was more – both would have loved to put her away. So that means they knew she was guilty but the instructions did not permit them to make her guilty. So they had no choice. And they said they wanted to convict her because they thought she was guilty, but the instructions made it impossible to do so. Too much jargon. I would ask all of the world to not buy into her lies – she murdered her daughter and should not make a penny for doing it. Please do not buy any books or support any "Lifetime" movie – nothing. It would be a lie – a false story. Caylee is dead and should not be Casey's pay check for the rest of her life. I hope that Caylee haunts her for the rest of her life.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Casey lover

      You sound a little mad there Le, she didn't do it and you know it, so go continue to get off listening to that terrible faux blonde woman trying to continue her media crusade, her quest to become famous through others suffering because she couldn't hack it as a prosecutor. Goes right along with her past riddled with ethics questions and violations.

      So you know, i'm going to buy every single book, including her OJ style "If I did it-" and religiously DVR and buy DVD copies of every lifetime movie that comes out, just to support Casey against that hack of a woman Nancy Grace

      July 6, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Le

      To "Casey Lover" – you have every right to support who you want and to buy all the crappy books you want, but you have misguided anger towards NG for some reason. This great land of our allows for media attention of public trials. No I am not mad at all because I know how things are going to be for her, casy, she forever be seen a child killer, that is just the reality of it. Non-guilty only means there was not enought evidence to convict her, not that she did not do it (but we know she did!).
      I would have more respect for you if you would have said you were a Caylee Lover, afterall this little is point of the entire story, and thank goodness the media gives us information so we can form our own personal opinion about trials, people, etc. The media being plural, meaning more than Nancy Grace, i.e., CNN, MSNBC, ET Tonight, ABC News, NBC News, Fox News, Good Morning America, etc.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. American

    Nancy Grace: A model for making a career off the misery of others.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lovemydaughter

    Nancy Thank yoiu for all of the effort you have put forth in this case. Okay so now can the alleged Grandmother get her DNA test and then file a wrongful death lawsuit against her. To precious Caylee, I am sorry our justice system failed you. Maybe you can come an visit your Mom in hear dreams and have her relive how she made you suffer at her hands.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously

      Yeah, that is a great outcome. The mother of the sperm donor coming to get her pound of flesh in the form of cash. That really would honor the deceased.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. j.a.

    I find the way Nancy Grace has attacked the jurors is awful. What a shame that CNN let her get away with it. She was not sitting on the jury, she has no right bashing them. She needs to respect them, she doesn't have to agree, but they deserve the respect. Will never watch her show again. I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels this way.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tom Knight

    Nancy Grace, more than anyone, has profited from Caylee's death. She, and HLN, have made the most money from the death of this little girl, and they should both be ashamed of themselves. At this point Grace is attempting to incite vigilante justice by ranting on. She needs to be removed from the air before someone gets hurt due to her actions.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pewter

    White people are just stupid! Do white people not have ANYTHING better to do, than to keep up with a trial that doesn't even involve a family memnber? Get a freakin life!!!

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

      Hmmm....O.J.?

      July 6, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • drbasic

      and you have scanned how many hundreds of replies to get to here?

      July 7, 2011 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. Webman6

    Nancy Grace has certainly let all her viewers know just what she thinks about the jury that returned a not guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony case. And it is reprehensible. Nancy is a hateful, deceitful horrible excuse for a human being. CNN and HLN should fire her immediately. Casey Anthony should file a lawsuit against her for every penny she has. She thinks she's some kind of legal prophet, a sort of courtroom Jesus Christ. She's disgusting.
    This is the big story that CNN should be focusing on. All CNN and HLN viewers should phone CNN in Atlanta and register their disgust with Nancy Grace and demand she be fired immediately.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. helloeyes

    Nancy, you were wrong. You know it was an accident. You tried to convict her in the media. You are an angry, bitter woman and I hope you rot in hell for the way you handled the Anthony tragedy.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. alan

    BLAME CSI SHOWS ???

    July 6, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim

    I agree with Ms Grace that the girl is guilty, I do not agree with her characterization of the Jury. She said "one juror has an arrest for DUI.... I too, have an arrest for DUI, in 1986. I also have 20 yrs of Navy Service, with a Top Secret Clearance, beginning in 1989. A mistake is a mistake. Doesn't exclude you from doing your civic duty.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously

      Thank you! Both for your service and your reasonable comment.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Coasters

    Nancy Grace you do not have to agree with the jury but you should honor their findings and stop trying to crucify a young woman on TV. There was one things that the prosecutors could not say in closing arguments. This one thing will remove all doubt from your mind!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
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