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. Peter Murdoch

    You know how sick Nancy Grace is she uses the term TOT MOM what the heck is that? Branding? Who gets away with garbage like that. CNN should have told her to stop that idiotic phrasing immediately. Guess they were making too much money.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      People brand all the time. That doesnt make them sick at all. octomom? just another example. Shes trying to take away the humanity from Casey Anthony and speak about her as an animal. Which is all she is.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • CP

      Exactly Dan, because most of us cant comprehend a human being doing what Casey did to her child and therefore giving her a name like the rest of doesn't seem fair. If I had my way she would have been branded with something much worse than "tot-mom". People who think she deserves to be free just because they hate Nancy Grace are no better than "tot-mom" herself and apparently think its perfectly normal to research how to break a neck, duck tape their kids air passages shut, chloroform them, throw them in the trunk of the car, then a ditch etc etc etc...

      July 7, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. Disgusted

    Nancy is publicly critical of the suggestion that jurors or anyone else MIGHT profit from this trial–But I wonder how much money she has made off this over case over the years???? How hypocritical.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      She makes money as a member of the news corporation. Its not as if she is being endorsed by Nike for supporting the prosecution. Think before you speak. Shes just doing her job to report and give her opinion.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill

    Thank God our jury selection system filters out morons like Nancy Grace.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Capt

      I agree with you Bill. Nancy Grace is a loud mouth, know it all, who hides behind "finding justice" when finding justice is up to the courts and jury's, not Nancy Grace.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • CP

      See the problem is that people like you who hate Nancy Grace but then read and post about her (moronic don't you think?) do get selected and therefore criminals like Casey go free.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff

    I was glad to see Casey Anthony not convicted. Mostly b/c of TV lawyers like Nancy Grace convicting her on national TV without really seeing all of the evidence... Some of the lawyer talk against Casey Anthony was over the top...

    July 6, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      She obviously knew most if not all the facts if it was her job to follow the case. Its funny that you think a murderer should be let go. its obvious she killed her little girl

      July 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      Nancy Grace, you talk too much. You have no right to judge. Its God's place to judge. Not yours, not ours. I'm glad to see Casey got acquitted. May she find Jesus along the way and start over fresh. Caley is in heaven. May perpetual light shine upon her. Remove hatred in your hearts. Love one another. God bless.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Name*fitz

    The jury in this case is a disgrace to the justess system and our country. It proves that most Americans are too stupid to comprehend the law and evedence.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Graham_O

      The real idiots are the ones who watch Nancy Grace and think this whole tragedy is one big reality show for their sick entertainment..

      July 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Penny

      Agree that jury was full of idiots!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • RSR

      Thats right Graham, it was just one big made-up story by Nancy Grace to go after poor innocent Casey. Maybe it was the Pontiac Sunbird that duck taped the kids air passages shut, chloroformed her and threw her from its trunk into the ditch. There, I solved it. If you hate this story and Nancy Grace so... why are you here?

      July 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff

    Nancy...If you want to really do a high impact special then eliminate the rest of the circus sideshow you call guests and go it alone. Take the airwaves for 120 minutes and present the case as you would have if you were the prosecutor. You have done it before and the best way to get your point across is to do so as a professional. Not as the ring leader of the nightly circus you call television.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Peter Murdoch

    Thank God we have a jury system instead of a system where Jessica Alba and Nancy Grace decide guilt!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. craig

    Nancy puts the spotlight on lowlifes and on missing kids. As a result, lowlifes have been caught and missing kids found.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • True

      She IS a lowlife. Her (CNN's) exploitation of these tragedies is repulsive...disgusting.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RSR

    I mean seriously, people give their kids chloroform before duck taping their air passages shut and throwing them in the trunk of their cars before discarding their dead bodies in a ditch ALL THE TIME! I cant understand why would anyone even begin to think poor Casey did anything wrong?! And like one person said on here, Im so glad those jurors thought so as well, my hope for them is that they will get to have the same experience Caylee did because apparently it was just one big happy day at the park that people just cant comprehend! ...if that makes sense to you then God help you! And speaking of things that make no sense, if you hate Nancy Grace so, why are you here reading and posting about HER???

    July 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bobby

    Nacy
    Now maybe you will shut up. It will be a blessing to us all. Justice has spoken right or wrong.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      thats the stupidest statement ive ever heard. Justice implies that the right thing has been done and the person charged of their crime correctly. haha justice served right or wrong. ridiculous

      July 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sam

    nancy is a tr@mp wh0r4

    July 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JJ_H

    Nancy Grace and her flock of sheeple are idiots.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Penny

    Love Nancy Grace! U all need to get a life!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously

      As do you.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Name*fitz

    Justice*

    July 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. chris

    I love Nancy Grace I don't always agree with her but I love that she stands up and says what she thinks even if it's not popular. I do believe the jury did the right thing on the first degree murder charge however, I really don't understand how they arrived at the not guilty for the other charges. What sickens me most is that she will get out and have more children just like Paula Sims. Youi will see Casey Anthony in the news again. She's a sociopath.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
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