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

    Hey Nancy people who spell justice justess agree with you and oh yeah Jessica Alba. What a beacon for the law you are. Can't wait for the next case you pick to spotlight with your Godlike opinion of guilt! Isn't funny this pundits never claim anyone is innocent and should NOT be convicted when these trials happen.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • dldrice@yahoo.com

      i agree with you,who gave nancy the job to judge people ,is she GOD!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jen

    Kat, You are a Idiot............all Nancy Grace cares about is her TV ratings

    July 6, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • enuffisenuff

      She must have tweeted her friends to back up her sorry a$$. Who sensationalizes their twins. I think I need to puke now.

      Anybody notice what kind of whackos she has on her show!! **cough** Susan Moss 2nd most annoying lawyer on tv behind Nancy Disgrace

      July 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. GJ

    Nancy Grace of all people should know the law and she should not pre-judge people, otherwise it undermines our entire justice system. It seems like Nancy Grace thinks she is above the law–above our justice system. She's too good for our justice system. Well, honey–i've got news for you. Welcome to American justice. The jury in this case made their decision as the jury system was intended to do. You're right–you do not HAVE to agree with the jury, but the name of JUSTICE has spoken. Get off your soap box. You are a weak, cry baby. Your show is ridiculous.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*trogers

      I agree

      July 6, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • dldrice@yahoo.com

      I like this, i think Nancy Grace should be removed from the show for her judgement of things that is only Her opinion,not the people of the USA

      July 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mike

    Hey Nancy, should we call the wahhhmbulance for you? She was found not guilty, that's the bottom line, and in a feeble attempt to try to justify why you weren't really wrong, now you're casting aspersions on the jury members. You're a real class act.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Name*trogers

    Rather she did it or not I wasnt there so I dont know. Thats between her and god.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      there is no god
      god is for h0m0z and losers and freaks
      this case is indicative of the average american-->stupid,lazy,fat,ignorant
      even when the facts and truth are staring him in the face!
      die USA die!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lori Ellis

    Nancy, you stated that you miss practicing law because you were able to make a difference. You INDEED make a difference with what you do every night! You are the voice for victims, victim's families, and those of us who aren't on TV. I am thankful that you do what you do! I'm disgusted by this jury. They had an obligation to 'weigh' the evidence and hardly took any notes. During deliberations they DID NOT ask for one request of videos, audios, etc. They KNEW after the opening statements what their decision was.And now they all want money?! They are a disgrace to the judicial system and to Caylee. Keep up the good work Nancy! My family in Lexington adores you and what you stand for.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      there is no god
      god is for h0m0z and losers and freaks
      this case is indicative of the average american–>stupid,lazy,fat,ignorant
      even when the facts and truth are staring him in the face!
      die USA die!!!!!!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • GJ

      I respectfully and fully disagree with you. The jury should not be persecuted for their decision. Welcome to American Justice. The decisions is theirs and they made it. Clearly, they saw something the "media" did not. That's the way jury duty is supposed to go. I think the real crimes in jury selection are when jurors are removed for the silliest reasons.

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

    Yes you did enjoy putting people behind bars, because they were Ninety-five percent Men, and you are a Man Hater, Inc.

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

      there is no god
      god is for h0m0z and losers and freaks
      this case is indicative of the average american–>stupid,lazy,fat,ignorant
      even when the facts and truth are staring him in the face!
      die USA die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      99.9999999999999999% of americans are stupid,lazy,fat,ignorant,drug addicted,alcoholic partner abusing,wife swapping degenerates

      July 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Voiceinthewind

    Nancy Grave is a Ghoul making money at anyone else's expense. Give the death penalty to someone who you don't know how the supposed victim died. Well let's put her to death OK, what's the charge, um well I'm not sure, her daughter is dead but we don't know from what, and you want to put her to death? Well she seems guilty of something I think. Think about it people, would you put someone to death if you did not know if they did anything wrong? She may be guilty but she may also be innocent, and we will probably never know, but the doubt is there and you can't put someone to death when there is doubt. If at least they could say there was a murder but they can't. Nancy Grace is a Ghoul along with many other personalities who are making money from the very sorry situation. Rest in Peace Caylee God has taken an angle home.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tino

    I think that Nancy Grace would be real good if she moved to Afganistan or Somalia!!!

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

      Maybe you should go to Somalia or Afgan if you don't agree with freedom of speech!!!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. enuffisenuff

    It's time for HLN to pull the plug on the worse show on HLN. We need more positive people on HLN like Robin Meade. GOOD MORNING SUNSHINE!!

    Whatever happen to responsible journalism...If something happens to Casey Anthony they need to hold this witch (NG) accountable for the continual lynching of Casey.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sinpa

    Too bad Her opinion doesn't matter.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Nycole

    If you're hating on Nancy Grace, you my dear are the problem. She stands for a cause. Children being Killed will never be ok. Someone has to protect our children w/ Mic. P.s I never watch CSI and always knew that show mixes reality with TV.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Teresa Sipple

    What is wrong with this country and our judicial system are people like the ones putting up nasty comments about a person who is stating the truth and facts!!! Wake up people, Nancy isn't the problem. it is people like you, idiots and morons who condem someone else. By the way, I hope Casey A rots in hell, she deserves it. Maybe somebody will chlorform her and cover her face with duct tape and stuff her in a trunk. That would be justice!!!!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Peter Murdoch

    Nancy Grace is doing a Limbaugh call her flock "TOT MOM HEADS" and now they can find another case where they can lynch someone.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ispeakthetruth

    NANCY GRACE AND HER COLLEAGUES AT HLN MADE MILLIONS EXPLOITING THE DEATH OF A POOR YOUNG GIRL... NOW THEY CONTINUE TO ATTACK THE JURY IN HOPES OF RETAINING THEIR VIEWERS

    July 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
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