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. Lilia Neskina

    I beleive in justice system even if it lets go of people who commited a crime, because nothing is worse then putting inocent persone to jail. Nancy should relax and respect our justice system – we are not in middle ages

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

      i agree with Nancy....I DONT HAVE TO AGREE WITH NANCY! (HER)!
      WE DO NOT LIVE IN SALEM!!!!
      DEFENSE ATTY BARRACUDA BAEZ SAVED ANOTHER LIFE....RIP CAYLEE, MAY THIS MEDIA MADNESS STOP INCITING CHAOS.

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

      I understand in a way what you are saying, but disagree strongly. It is more then likely that type of thinking that got her off in the first place. Every one is to "scared" to make the wrong decision that someone whom just murdered her daughter is now able to live her life and profit from killing her to boot. And back in the middle ages, she would be dead. =)

      July 6, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Hugo

    The Kardashians, Paris Hilton, Lindsya Lohan and Nancy Grace. you are in GREAT compnay Nancy, keep it up.
    Deat CNN, Put something useful on, like a Test pattern or maybe the chance to watch paint dry. At least that would be honest.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DOC

    Searching for a little bit to write here?

    July 6, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. party of one

    I seem to be the only one agreeing with her. Who knew I was such a rebel? If it wasn't for Nancy Grace I'd never have gotten the opportunity to watch the trial on tv.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brett

    Nancy Grace is a rich woman because that poor little girl died. Disgusting...disgusting...disguting. What a profit monger.

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

    jWhat a shame Grace's interviewer didn't interview her the way she speaks to all her guests i.e. interrupt constantly without giving them the chance to answer the question. Unbearable woman

    July 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tot Mom-Mom in PA

    Rorn and Anna (banana)Brntham: HELLO!!!!! This is not about Caylee.....you apparently are so misguided that you are on the incorrect blog....GO LOOK FOR THE RIGHT ONE!!!! This is about NG and you are exhibiting the exact behavior and mentality that NG promotes! Tell me...are you members of her little media-cult! Seems she has managed to brain-wash you in the past 3 years as she has a friend of mine...now, I see this friend confused, in a constant state of anxiety, and unable to understand how I was able to predict how the jury was going to rule. It's a disgrace what Nancy has accomplished with her worthless, one-sided show! CNN/HLN: you need to get her off the air....I don't even watch CNN anymore because you promote this bimbo!!!! --Alas! I still have MSNBC !!!!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. South Mississippi

    Sorry, but Nancy is a sensationalist....listen to the Don Henley song....dirty laundry.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Casey Lover 22

    Casey Anthony is HOT! so leave her alone!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. 47654ads

    Nancy Grace cannot reproduce! She gets jealous at someone who can produce a beautiful child like Caylee, but do not know how to care for her child. Nancy Grace is a monster because when she gets jealous at you, she wants you DEAD!

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

    I'd bang Casey...she fine!

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

    The TMZ Live clip where Harvey rips into Nancy Grace is posted on the TMZ website.

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

    I am in shock and awe that any self-respecting lawyer would call this a strong case. There was no evidence of any quality to pin down the cause of death, therefore nothing to distinguish an accident from a murder. I am embarrassed for this woman to hear her speak such total nonsense. What does she call a weak case? And what would she call a case in which there actually is hard evidence of time, cause, motive? It would be nice if a motive and a penalty for the death itself might come to pass someday. But NG's words and actions are that of a vigilante, not something that resembles a proper carriage of justice. I will remain forever grateful that this jury was able to take their task seriously, and to think and act independently, and that they were courageous enough to do so.

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

    Nancy Grace all you have done is make money off boosting your ratings by reporting on the Anthony case.

    You claim to seek justice, but then you get angry because the jury didn't reach the verdict that you wanted. You were not on the jury. The girl went through the process and she was found not guilty. You as a former prosecutor, if you left out your emotions, would concede that the prosecution did not prove its case in every aspect beyond a reasonable doubt. People lied on the stand. Mason pointed out many different things in his closing argument that there was most assuredly reasonably doubt in many aspects.

    As you know not guilty doesn't mean innocent it means the prosecution did NOT prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt!

    You made money off this girl so stop making comments about the fact that she might make money.

    You did the SAME thing boosting your ratings on your show talking about the case.

    I would WELCOME Casey Anthony into my home if I could only get in contact with her.

    NO ONE deserves to be tried in the media like all of you media people have tried this case within.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joe

    In my opinion Nancy Gracy did a lot more harm then good. Does it help to have a case like this blow up on national media? Clearly it doesn't help the prosecution of murder if Casey Anthony did it. All blowing it up like this is tell real murders that someone who 75% of the public thinks is a murderer got a way with, so that just encourages them. Shows like CSI also help to instill a belief that no matter what the crime the American police force and FBI will steam roll you which is good in my opinion. Also please stop convicting people in the public court, that isn't what the founding fathers wanted for people like DSK to get trashed before it was even proven that they were guilty (I don't know if he is guilty or not). Remember those Lacrosse players? It looks like they were not guilty but the media ruined their lives. The founding fathers didn't want the media going around ruining people's lives.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judge and you will be judged.

      Yep had this not been given the media coverage it was given the Verdict most definitely would have been a different story.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
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