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. James

    You may not agree with the jury but don't be such a jerk about it. I think the jury was pretty brave to do what they did. The Prosecution was an mean, spiteful ass and put on a really lousey presentation. The jury as much as said so when the judgement came down.

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

      Oh, he was a meanie for trying to convict a baby killer, shame on him.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Kooijman

      Right on James!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Capt

      Thank you James. To you Nancy Grace, nobody has to agree with the jury's verdict. It's always Nancy's way or the highway. Nancy Grace has no other view except her own, so therefore, under the opinion of any case, Nancy Grace will always serve as Judge, Jury, and Executioner. She would hang her own mother, if her mother shop lifted a pack of chewing gum and got caught.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joseph

    I think Nancy Grace is spot on. She tells it like she sees it and pulls no punches. Casey Anthony is GUILTY! What kind of mother doesn't alert the authorities that her little girl is missing for over 30 days and when she finally did (after her own mother insisted), she told authorities everything but the truth? A mother that killed her baby girl – that's who would do something like that! Our judicial system is a farce! Something else to consider... now that she's all but free, has she approached anyone with a desire to find the "real" killer? Again – NO! No, because there is no one else.

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

      I agree 100% with you Joseph...and I might add I think she should not be allowed to profit off of the childs death by writing books or having a movie made...she deserves "NOTHING" ....i hope this family has nothing but misery until they tell the truth...

      July 6, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. billybilly

    Its really pathetic that she would attack the jury as incompetent just because they don't agree with her. I doubt Grace really cares about the little girl, just about her own TV ratings.

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

    Nancy Grace? There is nothing graceful about this Witch. Ugly woman from the inside out. She looks like an angry Eagle. My apologies to all Eagles and Witches, I don't mean to compare you to such an ugly soul.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dr. Kooijman

    My gosh this woman is pathetic! What in the world is she still doing on tv? I feel truly sorry for her. Instant gratification, wow what a shallow life that must be!

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

    Casey Anthony had something to do with her daughters death, maybe it was not on intentional but she knows what happened and for no reason should she be walking out a free woman tomorrow. It is sad to see it end like this but the jurors made a decision and thats the end of it, we have to respect what decision was made. RIP little Caylee you were a beautiful little girl and you are in a much better place where no one can hurt you again.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Katie

    I agree with Nancy 100%! people watch way too much CSI! In reality we often don't find the concrete evidence or a confession. I am interested to see if she writes a book like O.J. telling how she did it. Of course it would probably just be another lie....

    July 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mcccccccc

    Even though I think that Casey Anthony did indeed kill her daughter, I hope she sues this lunatic for slander and gets her fired.

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

      if you think she is guilty, how can she sue for slander? i think she should have gotten the death penalty and anything said to her or about her she brought on herself by killing a toddler who loved her....

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

      it isn't slander, it is called free speech, look it up!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Girhm

    Nancy Grace brought this case national attention...and played a part in how it ended. Twisted media coverage.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Angie

    I don't understand how CNN still has her on TV. She is the worst person EVER! Look at her history and anyone else would have been fired by now. I watch Robin Meade in the mornings and I must say I have not tuned in since she has been giving her ridiculous thoughts on the show every morning. Somebody with some morals please fire her.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cowboy70

    nancy grace a failed prosecutor who was disbarred for abuses in and out of courtrooms. yes she cares? shes about money and making a name for herself only and exploiting anyone she can to further herself.... this is the role model so many on this blog admire? no wonder the USA is falling to pieces. too much television

    July 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Royce

    I did not see the case init't entirety, but what I did see and hear, I would lean more to the guilty side if I had served on the Jury. I hope little tot is explaining this to our God and justice will be served for her. No one will escape the full wrath of our heavenly farther.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. blueridge309

    Nancy, You are continually beating up the jurors of this case. You act as if they have no idea of what is going on, as it pertains to law and common sense. Regardless, you (as a public figure/journalist) should not belittle or continue to verbally abuse the jurors. Something bad could happen because of YOU!!!!!! You make it seem as if it is the juror's fault that the case didn't go as you had hoped. Please concentrate on the fact that the prosecution and the entire investigation left too many questions to be answered and clearly did not prove their case. Please cut the jurors some slack because in my opinion they rendered the only verdict possible given the poor performance of the STATE of FLORIDA! If something happens to a juror understand that you are at the very least partially responsible if not totally responsible. I am also appalled that you act as if you are disgusted that Casey may create income from this but I will bet that HLN and YOU have profited from this little girls death more than any or all of the Anthony family members combined!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. James

    How in the world can Nancy Grace sit there and NOT call out the prosecution? They had NO CHANCE of getting a conviction of Murder 1 based on what they presented. They could have probably easily gotten a lesser charge conviction that would have put her away for a LONG time. Instead she is going to call out the jury and some of their personal failings.

    What a joke this woman is

    July 6, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JD

    I think Nancy would have to be a logical thinker before she would be able to say someone else isn't. The defense won the prosecution she was proud of lost. I thought the jury did the right thing. I think she was involved and no doubt her Dad was also. That is why he considered suicide. I doubt the whole story will ever come out. Baez did a masterful job of acting like a bumbling attorney with no clue but the whole time he was setting it up for a huge win and it worked. I admire him and also how he has handled himself since the verdict. I wonder why HLN hasn't gave Nancy the ole boot. She brought up the rating for a while but I wouldn't watch her now after her actions if she was the only program on TV. Odd how she criticizes but I don't remember her winning any high profile cases.

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