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. Dan

    More ego stroking and an open forum to continue bashing someone for America's Number One Missing White Woman Alert system. One of these days this arrogant clown is going to get someone killed because by one of her vendettas. At one point is it okay to sue her for slander?

    July 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. James

    NANCY YOU AND CASEY WILL SHARE A ROOM TOGETHER IN HELL!!! YOU ARE BOTH EVIL, NARCISSISTIC BEINGS.

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

      LOL

      July 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt Rothstein

      hahaha, more right you can't be 🙂

      July 7, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. Fred

    Baylee died before the age of spiritual responsibility and goes to heaven. Tot mom would have died before age of responsibility and also gone to heaven if she was given death penalty . Most people who live past age of responsibility do not make it to heaven . God knows best what Casey deserves

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

      "Most people who live past age of responsibility do not make it to heaven" .

      Kind of makes one wonder, "what in the Hell was God thinking"?

      July 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dick

    Yea Nancy, It's the jury's fault.

    I wish this bimbo would disappear.

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

      Dick, what an appropriate name. It is NOT the jury's fault. The State failed to present argument but most important, failed to present HARD EVIDENCE sufficient to prove GUILT beyond a reasonable doubt. Would it make you and the 79% who believe the JURY WAS WRONG...would it make you guys HAPPIER if we just summarily executed ALL those PRESUMED guilty regardless of sufficient evidence? Perhaps it would make you all happy if we just had cops EXECUTE ON THE SPOT ALL who are presumed GUILTY? Saves on a trial and then there's no messy issue of LACK OF EVIDENCE right?

      July 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dick

      Jake, I'm mocking Nancy the idiot. Get some rest.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt Rothstein

      Totally agreed...but you as you said SHE IS BLONDE...hahaha

      July 7, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • JakeC

      Sorry Dick! I guess I'm the D now...LOL. Glad to know I was wrong. Unlike Nancy, I can accept being wrong.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  5. Wisconsin101

    Didn't Nancy convict the Duke Lacrosse players and ruin their lives too. How much damage are we and CNN going to let her do. I cannot believe she has not been sued yet. She is one of the reasons that drove me to other news outlets like Greta.

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

      I stopped watching Ms DISGrace's show when she spoke almost NON-STOP for 6 months about this case and gave Ms Anthony the SILLY name of TOT MOM. I saw Joy Behar asking Ms DISGrace WHY she referred to Ms Anthony as TOT MOM. Rather than offering a CIVIL answer she NEARLY bit Joy's head off and childishly replied she could refer to Ms Anthony however she so chose. REAL professional MS DISGrace!

      July 7, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. ocho

    Did the jury have the option of convicting on some lesser charge than murder 1?

    July 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Danny

    There's a lot of venom here directed at Nancy Grace. I encourage you to contact CNN at the "Contact Us" link below and telll CNN how you feel about her. I also encourage you to watch TMZ Live to see fellow attorney Harvey Levin rip Nancy Grace for trashing the jurors. His arguments are VERY compelling. Tell CNN AND ABC NEWS that Grace's comments ARE NOT acceptable!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny

      ***In the way of clarification on my earlier post, when I say "fellow" attorney Harvey Levin....I'm referring to Levin and Grace both being attorneys.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt Rothstein

      Damn you got that right...she is an hypocrite and doesnt believe in the system that she worked for...."You are innocent until the contrary is proved",she does not believe on that...SHAME ON YOU NANCY

      July 7, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Dick

      Thanks Danny [great idea], I just sent CNN/HLN a very polite comment regarding the bimbo. I encourage more to do so!

      July 7, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dan

    Maybe now HLN and CNN will wise up and remove this big mouthed idiot from TV. Or, are they going to wait for her to do something even more stupid than Rick Sanchez? I'd rather take a small caliber bullet to the leg than watch Nancy Grace ever again! Get rid of her!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • JakeC

      Ah Dan...if you were a woman I'd LOVE you. LOL I can't stand Ms DISGrace either.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mad in Georgia

    George, Cindy and Lee– my heart goes out to you.. I just pray that you didn't consent to being a part of Casey's pony show defense. Please separate yourself from that demon.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeana

    Nancy Grace has been slipping off her rocker since she had those "late-in-life" twins. If she wanted to be an actress, she made the wrong segue from Prosecutor to Actress via her current show. She's a backwards Georgia nit-wit who's never tried cases in major states where precedent is set. And for the record.....if you make it through law school you AUTOMATICALLY are admitted to the D.C. Bar, so I'm not at all impressed with her or her credentials.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sick

    As a mother of 3 I am absolutely sick to think anyone could be so manipulated by Casey's lies. I would say wIting more than 5 minutes to report a child missing is guilty of child neglect & abuse! Come on people! She didn't report her missing for an entire month! And instead of looking for her she was whoring around! Get real! Only a guilty person would behave that way!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Matt Rothstein

    I'm agreed with you, I've been studying Nancy's profile and I analyze her every time she is On the air. She is very inquisitive and dislikes when nothing goes on her way or like she expected. After accusing and accusing and all that crap she says, and then any verdict goes contrary of what she says on TV, makes her look like an ass, in fact, her ratings are going down and her programs are getting boring and boring with the same oh, same oh...I'm a true believer of our system and the fact she keeps knocking the jury's decision because her disagreement, it doesn't show just disagreement, but shows disrespect to the justice system that she worked for in the past...she should change her last name from Grace to Disgrace, and after every single decision I believe she should keep her mouth shut, so she doesn't keep doing the ridiculous after her constant fail predictions....

    July 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dave57

    Cnn you must be despert to have to keep her on,dont watch her show or cnn much .hope she program your show cause she know everthing.the jury done what they thought was right but not for no it all

    July 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Peter Murdoch

    God help you if Nancy Grace decides you shouldn't be on a jury. God Help you if you disagree with Nancy Grace. What she is doing with her free speech is undermining the whole premise of the legal system! Nancy go and try cases for real. Aren't you good enough or not enough money in it. Pathetic CNN wake up and smell the coffee.

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

    Shame on Nancy Grace for trying to discredit this jury. What a bitter woman. Who is she to try to expose the prior trials of these peoples lives. That is just so low. These people made sacrifices to fulfill their civic duty to the best of their ability and now she wants to drag them through the mud. Nancy Dis-Grace in my opinion.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • JakeC

      Nancy DISGrace makes me sick. While I believe Ms Anthony more than likely had something to do with her daughter's death, we THANKFULLY live in a country where the PRESUMPTION OF GUILT does not MAKE a guilty verdict (well except for the LOYAL NAINCEE's LOONS). For Ms DISGrace to attempt to discredit ANY or all of the jury (regardless of their past) makes me DESPISE this egomaniacal BORE even more.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
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