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. Manand

    Nancy is a Disgrace

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

    Just some observations on this interview. Obvious problem jurors- Welcome to mankind, if it wasn't DUI, drug paraphernalia and a fight (none of which was a conviction by the sound of it) then it would be traffic tickets and detention in school. Being within earshot of a conversation- really that's evidence in her book? can't imagine what kind of crimes i'm linked to for eating out at restaurants.

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

    Nancy Grace and HLN should be ashamed of themselves for giving this case such coverage. Larry King was right when he asked "why is this case getting such coverage when there are so many other homicides in the states? and . . . who cares about the opinion of Nancy Grace! Meanwhile a young women has had her life ruined with all this coverage.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fourrilla

    Juries watching to much CSI? FOR REAL! Wouldn't it be ironic if the jurors were avid N.G. viewers? I guess our television viewing will be questioned during jury selection should she have any say in it. "Put on my hip boots.....and looked for Caylee myself"- Why the hip boots NG? if you cared so much, that desk in front of you and the money you make wouldn't have mattered and you would have done it. Seems you're a bit more into keeping up that hype, at least that what the FACTS seem to scream

    July 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tina

    All of you must secretly love Nancy Grace otherwise you wouldn't waste your time commenting.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously

      That's an extremely well thought out comment.. Wait, you forgot to say anyone who doesn't like Nancy Grace is jealous of her.

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

    Prosecutors did an stellar job presenting the evidence of a first degree MURDER. Casey should be exactly where Scott Peterson is. Birds of a feather should be made flock together! Shame on the jurors for not being smarter. You should have deliberated longer and not rushed to the faster, easiest conclusion just so you could go home.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Peter Murdoch

    I am pretty sure Hell is reserved for people who profit from the death of children so Nancy Grace will be sharing a bed in hell with that little girl's murder whoever that might be. Enjoy Hell Nancy was the money worth it?

    July 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chucky McLovin

    Nancy Grace is an odious fascist. I wish she would lose her job and I wish somebody would punch her in the face.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joi

    Thank you Nancy! You give a voice and exposure to cases that many may never hear about because they donot look like Barbie! Let the haters hate, if you dont like the show or Nancy it simple don't watch. I applause you Nancy for your courage in this mess up world! You and your team keep doing what you do!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Oilcruzer

    Whatever Nancy, it's tragic but it ain't about you;

    July 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Hello111

    JUDGE NOT LET YE BE JUDGED... one day you will meet your maker Nancy Grace, and he will not be pleased!!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Wisconsin101

    Nancy Grace is a disgrace. What an arrogant, omnipotent tool that needs to be sued for slander. I for one agree with the jurers, the case did not eliminate all doubt that she did it.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. OrlandoMan

    Sorry Casey Anthony lovers but she speaks the truth. The girl got away with murder and a "not guilty" will never change that. She is tainted for the rest of her life.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ashley

    "There were some obvious problem jurors: You had one on there with an arrest for DUI; another with an arrest for drug paraphernalia; one who, along with his sister, had beaten up their father"

    Uhp. Fallacy.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dj

    You're right Nancy, you don't have to agree. But you don't have to continue to be a pompous, arrogant, rabid, hateful person either

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