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. Rich

    You know what? I really don't "give a fig" about Nancy Grace's opinion, either!

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

      Hey Nancy, ever apologize to the "rapists" from Duke U? Or are you like Al Sharpton and Tawana Brawley? If ever there were a woman who should stay home and cook for someone else and keep quiet...

      July 6, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Allan

    Nancy Grace needs to be banned from TV.

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

      Lol wutever Nancy grace knows what she is talking about! I have watched this case from day one and casey is guilty!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nate

    Nothing changes the fact that Nancy Grace is a horrible, horrible person.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Phydoux

    How can Nancy Disgrace possibly think the prosecution had a case? And a murder 1 case at that? It was the sketchiest evidence ever!! No wonder she's not a practicing attorney any more. Uneducated or not, the jury came up with the right verdict. I'm not saying Casey Anthony didn't do anything wrong, she is as much of a freak as Nancy Disgrace, just that no one has direct evidence to put either one of them away where they belong.

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

      The problem wasn't with the evidence (or lack of...)...the problem, and this is from having served twice on a jury in the 9th circuit court, is that the jururs, having been sequestered for 6 weeks, were tired, frustrated, and totally disinterested in the case, focusing more on how to arrive at a decision that would allow them to return home at the earliest possible date. Anyone who has served on a lengthy jury, especially when sequestered, understands that the inherent selfishness of individuals who are taken from their work, jobs, and possible paychecks, could really give a flip about a long, complicated case like the Anthony trial...none of them wanted to arrive at a decision that would keep them sequestered for a possible additional week or two. Face facts...people are petty whether you want to think so or not!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CBR

    I suppose some might think that Nancy Grace was within her bounds to hype this whole story. I do not think I watched one evening newscast without the mention of the trial. Ms. Grace started a media frenzy and now she says she does not have to accept the verdict. Of course not, this trial got her show ratings. Had she not done this I wonder if she would still be on television.

    If you believe in the justice system then you must agree that a jury of peers decided this case. They were in the courtroom every day, heard all of the evidence and made the judgment call.They saw and heard all of the testimony and were privy to body language/ Their decision is final and Ms. Grace needs to move on.She can continue to hammer away at Ms. Anthony but she will need to find another case if her program is going to survive.

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

      Where is the "like" button!!!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. alan

    BLAME CSI SHOWS ?? GIVE ME A BREAK... GET OFF THE BACKS of the police, give them the time, and tools that they need and they will put the case together. Sometimes the evidence takes longer than an hour to put together Nancy. You need to be silent while an investigation is going on, then you will see results. In a murder case like this, there is no rush to get to court,, if you rush, you just saw the results. If you are patient, thourough, and persistent, the police can have CSI like results. The media and political pressure got this woman off.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tarea

    It's very interesting that the majority of posts on this site who are against Nancy Grace are male. Does Nancy Grace really have that much of your power? If it was Ned Grace? not Nancy Grace would there still be such rude, disgusting, and amoral comments?

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

      Would you rather we come down hard on Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or one of the republican presidential candidates?

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

      Last time I checked I was a female and I absolutely ABHOR Nancy Grace. (And BTW, not everyone uses their real name, or a screen name indicitive of their gender, when posting on an online forum.) In my oipinion, Nancy Grace shows that out of control anger and aggression are not gender-specific defects. I've never known a man as angry as she is. I've often wondered if she's on steroids.l

      July 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michigan

      Disliking Nancy Grace is not the exclusive domain of men. I am a woman, and I have no use for her. She is totally irresponsible. I fear that she will incite her viewers to become vigilantes. She is dangerous.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. The Prince of Darkness

    I haven't been dancing Nancy since you sold me your soul. I've been waiting for you so we can tango again.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bubb Rubb

    How does this disgusting, self aggrandizing, holier than thou shrieking Harpy not work for Fox? Inexplicable. If only we were all strong enough to ignore her and make her go away. Oh well.

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

    Harvey Levin on TMZ has also trashed Nancy Grace on his show, TMZ Live, about her disparaing comments regarding the jurors and the verdict. I applaud Harvey for speaking out against Nancy!!!

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

    Nancy Grace is a bottom feeder. I'd rather watch the home shopping network than her, and that's saying a lot!

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

    In plain words, if Nancy were the prosecutor the verdict would have been guilty. Yeah, right. What's next Nancy, Supreme Court nomination?

    July 6, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Alicia

    I love Nancy grace and because of her at least we can see what is going on around us. She helps law enforcement and speak out for victums. She want justice for Caley. I am so sad and mad about Casey's verdict. It is a slap on everybody face who try to bring justice for Caylee. I am so sad for all hardwork everybody did to find caley and what comes out, victory of Devil. I hope Casy will go to Hell soon and I am happy Caley is away from devil.Nancy you are always the best and we all love you. God will continue bless you because you are helping to bring justice.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seattle-N

      She is a talking head

      July 6, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elyse

      well said!!!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously

      If you need Nancy Grace to show you what's going on around you, then you have bigger problems than a stranger murdering their child. Also, you may want to check out the plural.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Seattle-N

    My question if she wants to be in the courtroom so much the why is she not there. Quick sensationalizing on TV and get back to where she wants to be or did her god tell her that she can judge people from outside the courtroom.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kevin

    She's guilty. Too bad we can't put her in a cell with Scott Peterson & let them lie to each other, because I'm sure everyone else is sick of the lies! Nancy Grace show is amazing!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elyse

      I agree Kevin!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
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