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. WillH85

    As much as I think Casey is guilty, we still have a legal process and I am sickened by how much the media judges people before the jury can. Nancy Grace has to be the worst when it comes to that. There is nothing professional about the woman and it's a shame that CNN gives her a voice.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • y2kougrtt

      I agree. Sick of media attempting to subvert the legal process. Eat it, Nancy Grace. This is your own doing, and I hope it will be your undoing. If you had let this play out locally, justice for the child would hae happened. Now, justice for mom, because of the media attention, was the only alternative. Shame on you and your ridiculous show making a mockery of the death of a child...are you happy with what it got you?

      July 6, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • supernut1971

      I couldn't agree more and the fact that she's pointing fingers about the cash grab opportunities for jurors etc. is insane. Nancy Grace is the epitome of lop sided journalism and hypocrisy. How much do you get paid Nancy Grace?? Getting the entire country all riled up is not the answer. Nobody in their right mind is happy about the verdict but lets move on to more productive thoughts. Please give the seat to a responsible journalist like Beth Karas, Paula Zahn or Catherine Crier. Ratings=$$$ and you've made your fair share I'm sure

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

      LIKE!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. dan

    nancy grace is just a stupid b!tch

    July 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MichelleG

    Eliott Spitzer show has been terminated. Nancy Grace and Jane Velez Mitchell should have been first on the chopping block!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jess

    Get rid of Nancy Grace...she is like a female Glenn Beck.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BombardierBob

    Nancy Grace being a former Prosecutor, did nothing more then try to sensationalize a court case. Frankly Nancy Grace did nothing in reporting news but more mouthing off her feelings and personal views on the story. Sorry but when CNN goes from reporting the news to this sort of mess I turn to other news to get an unbiased view on what is going on in the world.

    Prosecutors don't make the best journalist but a twisted one sided point of view...

    July 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Noble9

    Juries want it to be like it is on CSI with cool graphics and air tight forensic evidence. The real world isn't like that. This woman killed her kid, anyone with half a brain can see that.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mary Ann

    Juror 3 on ABC tonight said she believed George was there when Caylee died. Right after, they showed George on the stand saying he was not at home...it could Not have been more clear that he knew nothing about that baby dying. This juror is lacking common sense and logic. Still George and Cindy say the verdict was fair. They loved Caylee more than anyone else so if they think its "fair" for their daughter to get away with murdering Caylee then why should we as a societynhe enraged?

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

    Nancy Grace = loudmouth, know-it-all b!tch...

    July 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lisa Allen

    I think Nancy Grace is first-class. She is a fine attorney and a good woman.

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

      but she should not be on CNN period!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • JakeH

      Then let her prove her skill in a court of law, up against real Judges and real Lawyers.

      Oh, that's right, she already did that. The Georgia Supreme Court and the 11 Circuit Court of Appeals cited her for several instances of prosecutorial misconduct.

      Nevermind....just fire her...

      July 6, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • supernut1971

      If she tried this case I wonder if she would call her "Tot Mom" in the courtroom. Probably

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

    The jury had plenty of evidence given to them that Tot Mom was a bad mother who let something terrible happen to her daughter while she was in her care – that to me SCREAMS child abuse. How the jury didn't at least convict her of that is beyond me, and that is the reason I am so angry. Not guilty of murder, I can somewhat understand – but child abuse? Come on.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Peter

    Nancy Grace: This woman brings the law into disrepute. She is a disgusting example of someone who would send an innocent to the gallows to satisfy her own ego.
    e,g. Richard Ricci (Elizabeth Smart case
    She has received countless admonitions from State and Federal , for her lack of ethics and conduct .
    She is reprehensible .

    July 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff

    Nancy Grace's legal opinions pretty much explain why she isn't practicing law. The Supreme Court of Georgia twice reprimanded her for prosecutorial misconduct and overturned a murder conviction saying her conduct was inexcusable.

    She continues to exploit and fabricate the details of her fiance's death further career.

    She needs to go far away...

    July 6, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tuck13

    Casey is guilty, how do you explain a little girl missing for 31 days and her mother not telling anyone? By the way, how can George and Cindy be so upset about Caylee missing when they didn't have a hard time taking the oath swearing to tell the truth so help them God, yet found it so easy to lie. Is their god one of convience, what a family! By the way, for those who are hating on Nancy, just turn the tv channel if you find her so offensive.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Krystanie

    Nancy is the best & full of Grace! If you or a family member were ever a victim of such a heinous crime you would be appreciative of her effort to see those responsible pay for their crimes. All of you bad mouthing Nancy are appalling! What are you doing to help? Nancy brings media attention & often times that's how criminals are caught! You just can't fix stupid!!!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • BombardierBob

      CNN is for telling the news not Prosecuting cases and showing it one side or over hyping the case presented to the public. She was all but disbarred and you never ask her why that is? This should raise flags... Remember CNN used to be unbiased, now that has changed with Nancy Grace on CNN...

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

      You are so correct. "Stupid" is simply NOT repairable. And Nancy Grace is the epitome of "STUPID." Ergo, haul her stupid a** to the nearest junk yard and scrap her out.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. fourrilla

    Just some observations on this interview. Obvious problem jurors- Welcome to mankind, if it wasn't DUI, drug paraphernalia and a fight (none of which was a conviction by the sound of it) then it would be traffic tickets and detention in school. Being within earshot of a conversation- really that's evidence in her book? can't imagine what kind of crimes i'm linked to for eating out at restaurants. Juries watching to much CSI? FOR REAL! Wouldn't it be ironic if the jurors were avid N.G. viewers? I guess our television viewing will be questioned during jury selection should she have any say in it. "Put on my hip boots.....and looked for Caylee myself"- Why the hip boots NG? if you cared so much, that desk in front of you and the money you make wouldn't have mattered and you would have done it. Seems you're a bit more into keeping up that hype, at least that what the FACTS seem to scream

    July 6, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
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