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. CNN is interviewing itself?

    CNN now you're getting the real truth by interviewing itself and none other than Mrs. Foaming Mouth too.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • F'real?

      lol @ mrs foaming mouth

      July 7, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Webhoncho

      Not only that, but who cares what Nancy Grace thinks? I've said before that Nancy Grace is a clueless – her ranting when covering cases such as these is no help to the prosecutions. The last time I watched her (on a TV at a fast food restaurant), I thought Nancy Grace actually looks like she's guilty of something. People don't trust her. I'd charge her with impersonating an attorney.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. Scott from NH

    According to our own Dept. of Justice there are about 250,000 Americans sitting in jail who are innocent and wrongly convicted despite our motto of "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." That's like a city the size of Buffalo NY. And Nancy wants more people to go to jail when there are no witnesses or evidence???

    July 6, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Steve Edmonson

    Nancy DisGrace, Who do you think was behind the lenses of all those precious videos you keep exploiting of the Angel named Caylee? It is my opinion, you alone can have all the credit for "blowing" this case by making it a totally ludicrous circus when you had removed the very basic U.S. Citizens right to be considered "innocent until proven guilty". I am now praying as hard as I can that I can be at the gates with you when you get booted from heaven and sent straight to HELL!!!!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tracy

    I like Nancy Grace and I agreed with her views on this case since the very beginning. I especially like the last thing she said about Caylee being in a place where her mom cannot hurt her anymore.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kenny

    No one asked you to agree Nancy!!!!

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

    Nancy Grace is AWESOME. Too bad you short guys are intimidated by a intellectual, strong woman who ain't afraid to tell it like it is. Hats off to you Nancy. Without you and HLN we would never have known about this tragedy of a case.

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

      I'd agree, Nancy DisGrace is intelligent, but it's time she behaved like an intelligent responsible person worthy of the forum that has been given to her, rather than an hysterical backwoods snakeoil salesman. NO ONE is intimidated by her in the least.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Eva

      Wow, you can tell someone's height and weight via the Internet. You should join the circus! 🙂

      July 7, 2011 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. KM

    There is a reason I refer to her as, "Nasty Grace". She's not half the lawyer she thinks she is. If she were a good lawyer/prosecutor, she would not be on TV; she would be still be working in the court system. Just another 'talking head" as far as I'm concerned. And another thing, she needs diction lessons to learn how to pronounce "Caylee". She can say "Casey" correctly, but cannot pronounce "Caylee". Both of these names begin with the same sound, but Nasty Grace screws up "Caylee" every time. The deceased child's name is pronounced as, "K-Lee, NOT AS "KELLY".

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

      What is WRONG???? Is this IDIOTS R US? Watch Fox News a/k/a the Amero-Nazi channel? Give me a break. All you Casey Anthony supporters who are mouthing off about Nancy Grace-– stop and think. Nancy seeks justice and uses her show as a platform to help victims and society at large by exposing criminals like Casey Anthony. THAT IS A FACT!

      July 7, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  8. Peter Murdoch

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Grace Check out her handiwork as a lawyer she played fast and loose with ethics. Check out her record on wikipedia and the things she did wrong

    July 6, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. F'real?

    Nancy Grace should hid her head in shame. Now that NANCY ALMIGHTY hasn't gotten the conviction she campaigned so furiously for she still refers to Casey Anthony as guilty. Apparently her law school degree gives her the right to be media assassin, judge, jury and executioner. She's just mad cause a jury of her peers didn't give her the chance to push the need in Casey Anthonys execution.

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

      Are you retarded? Everyone has a right to their opinion! Nancy has got the guts to speak her mind. Nancy is an American hero!

      July 7, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. David Sebastian

    Nancy Grace is a total pain in the ass and the media frenzy that she tried to unfurl against this family blew up in her face. I cant stand her, my friends cant stand her, and America hates her. Why do they keep this stupid pent up, angry woman on the air?

    She does nothing except hype up but amounts to nothing but a regional story half the time, gets all drippy eyed over common 'over the counter' transgressions that happen in human communities, and she advances the cause of the victim almost to the point of making it look like a joke. She needs to go away- like Glenn Beck.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. michigan american

    Nancy Grace is anti american who thinks she is right and we're all wrong. We should all ban CNN, watch Fox news!!! Shame on you CNN for broadcasting her BS, but then again all you care about is rating and money.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • F'real?

      she's the glenn beck of CNN

      July 7, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  12. mike

    Tot mom?

    July 7, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mike

    Nancy – you are a horrible person! How dare you determine that someone is guilty before they are given a fair trial. You should be ashamed of yourself!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. mesa

    yes, she did help to crucify the Duke lacrosse players... and didn't have the common decency to admit she was wrong and apoligize. I don't know why people listen to her! Can't stand the sound of her voice!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  15. KM

    Nasty Grace looks as though she smells a fart approximately 99% of the time. The other 1% she spends making farts.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
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