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. Trombone

    Nancy Grace and Glen Beck should start mating and breed a whole new race of super crazies.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      AGREED!!

      July 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katrina

      Trombone - So who are you going to breed with and raise idiots? Being self-rightous seems tp be all you have going for you. Common sense and logic are lost on you.

      Nancy - Don't listen to the idiots. No one speaks for the children if you don't.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trollie McTrollenstein

      Katrina, you should probably take that first bit, replace Trombone with Katrina, and say it to yourself in the mirror.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinkingman

      Katrina, Nancy speaking up for the children is one thing. But that's not what she does. She doesn't care who is guilty and who is not. She decides within days of a crime who the guilty party is, and she never waivers from that, regardless of the facts or flimsy evidence.

      You want to speak up for the kids? speak for the kids – not just railing against the accused.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wallis3

      .LOL.!, if that happens i'll run a book a pace trip out of here with Richard Branson.!

      July 7, 2011 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. r112650

    Nancy you are an idiot ... if you call someone Guilty what is your proof, you opinion does not count, for you being a reporter you have to have proof to tell your public that she is guilty...

    You are a definite has been, NEVER liked you NEVER will, the only ones you watch you are the ones that don't want the truth and just want to hop on the train ... or people who just don't know how to look at all possibilities.

    You are innocent in THIS Country until proven GUILTY, maybe you should be living in Country that you are guilty first

    July 6, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Paul NYC

    She also doesn't have to agree with human decency or a sense of propriety. Grace has a massive platform to spew her hate day after day - it's a little different than just anyone having an opinion.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. technohippie

    CNN is now deleted from my channel lineup. Perhaps Nancy should try being a REPORTER and REPORT the news..not jump up and down saying someone is guilty before they even see the inside of a damn courtroom.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lisa

    Thank you, Nancy. That WITCH murdered her daughter. I can't believe those STUPID, IDIOTIC, GREEDY FOR MONEY, CREEPS. There was more than enough evidence to convict her on a more serious charge. She belongs in jail forever. That murderer karma will come fast.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shecky Serious

      wow. calm down and take a breath people.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1/1000 corpse

      Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

      July 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • terry phelps

      wow, another nasty divorce queen,lmfao..........

      July 6, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christian

      It is laughable to watch these people, like Nancy Grace and her cult of followers, who find the judicial system unjust when a verdict does not go the way they wanted. Casey Anthony was acquitted today as she should have been. The prosecution did not prove their case of 1st degree murder.

      What is more disturbing is that the media have vilified a person(s) on trial, [much like the O.J. Simpson and Peterson trials]; and are right now helping to create a lynch mob. In this day of social media it is too easy to influence the masses (not to mention the class biases of our justice system). In fact, if Casey Anthony is harmed by the actions of comments by Grace and other commentators they should be held liable.

      July 10, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Travis Wright

    Nancy Grace is possibly one of the most toxic media personalities who still has a job.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Agreed.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny

      Totally agree. She is a TABLOID JOURNALIST, who somehow is employed by a NEWS channel. She is TOXIC TRASH!

      July 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      Yes!

      July 6, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Agreed

      July 7, 2011 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. Shecky Serious

    10 bucks says that Nancy's husband drinks. (if it were me I'd do heroin)

    She's insufferable.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Winifred Higgins

    I have found Nancy Grace to always be far too opinionated that she is not capable of unbiased reporting and hosting. I stopped watching her some years back as I found her comments to be horribly one-sided – Nancy's way or no way. She thinks she is an expert – can't imagine why she portrays her belief is the only true belief. Spare me from anyone in the media being this opinionated – and I know there are others – but none like Nancy Grace.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • carla

      Ms. Higgins, I think the only one close to her personality is Glen Beck and they are pretty much putting him in the basement to work like that guy in "Office Space". She may be visiting him pretty soon.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar

    Another OJ Simpson case. Guess stupid can sit on that jury.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. K

    Wonder why CNN does not fire this populist muckraker, disguised within the 'news' ranks of CNN....

    July 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Y

      Well, one thing i am sure is CNN will never hire you K. You will never have Nancy's guts.

      July 8, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. jans

    I agree Nancy Grace is the one who isn't logical. She goes on about being incredulous that Casey talked about Caylee in the past tense while she was in jail. Of course she did. According to her "story" she KNEW Caylee was dead. And had for weeks.

    If Nancy Grace was as smart as she thinks she is she would...well she's not. Don't get me wrong, I think Casey probably killed her daughter. But there was CERTAINLY room for doubt since there was no evidence of murder vs. an accidental death such as drowning.

    Nancy Grace should be embarassed trying to influence the public against someone before they are judged by a jury. That is what our judicial system is all about, and she is undermining it.

    Go away Nancy!!!!!

    July 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Y

      Lol, stay put Nancy, I love you!!!!

      July 8, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jack of all trades

    "Nancy Grace: I don't have to agree with Casey Anthony jury"

    Newsflash Nancy, nobody cares!

    July 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ray

    I still say Nancy is a dude.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kent Bowen

    Nancy Grace is a joke, she could only get a job on CNN.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jaynicia

    Get over it and move on, Nancy. I'm sure that book you're planning to release will more than make up for your bent feelings.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
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