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. commonsense

    The reason that the jury found Casey not guilty is because they didn't get a chance to watch TV trash and tabloid news like Nancy Grace. All the jury saw was a case involving a dead child where no specific cause of death let alone murder was known and they had no details on when or where Caylee died. These are the facts, everything else is media sensationalism just for ratings

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

    Nancy Grace was not the one on trial! She is simply doing her job! You people make absolutely no sense!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. AP

    Casy is GUilty but let me tell you what I am tired of and that is everyone comparing the aquittal of Michael Jackson. He was innocent and there was absolutely no evidence against him. Except some lady wanting her son to lie to get money like she had already tried to do to Jay Leno and Chris Rock and others. So shut up NANCY GRACE and others like BILL O'REILLY and CNN unlike Casey he was innocent!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
    • lalverson

      And what actual evidence did the state of Florida have? Did they have a cause of death? Did they have a time of death? How would Casey Anthony benefit from her child's death? Was the state of Florida able to answer those questions? The Jury reply was no they did not.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jackie

    Nancy Grace now becomes Nancy DisGrace. The jury has spoken, Nancy. You lost. Just take it like a real women, and move on.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. Peter Murdoch

    Read about Nancy Grace on wikipedia CNN How can you employ someone with that kind of record? Remember Elizabeth Smart case Nancy decided she knew who was guilty and proclaimed it to the world SHE WAS WRONG OF COURSE... she also helped contribute to a woman's suicide. Nancy Grace is a sick individual with no respect for the law. CNN shame on you!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. Name*Ian F

    Nancy Grace is an opinionated TV pundit. She annoys me. Why doesnt she dry up and go irritate someone else?

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

    thank you Nancy

    July 7, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dj

    I guess Nancy didn't learn her lesson with the Duke Lacrosse case. How many embarrassments must CNN endure before they can her butt? Her take... doesn't matter what the case... Guilty as charged. Scary... and scarier yet that she has a followers willing to drink the kool-aid she serves nightly.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. Don McLaughlin

    Please note.... ALL of the legal commentators got it wrong ... All!

    What they owed the viewing public was some professional caution every night ... right from the get go!

    We should have heard .... The prosecution is doing a great job ... BUT .... this is a difficult case! We will NEVER know exactly how this beautiful little girl died ..... and what little real evidence we have shows that she was never abused.... not one of those bruised and bloody pictures we see inother cases.... and no evidence of broken bones.

    However unlikely you see it from Casey's conduct, we can never be certain this toddler didn't drown in the pool... which is, by the way, one of the most dangerous places for small children..

    Instead, you lawyers were cheerleaders for the prosecution ..... occasionally sounding like the old time lynch mobs...

    And NEVER reminding us that jurors could easiy think.... I just have not been convinved ..... I am certain she had something to do with this death.... and that she could tell us exactly what happened.... but ... killing rather than accident..... beyond a reasonable doubt...... Way too far for at least 13 jurors ....

    We, your puplic, would have been far better served if you had simly warned us ... this is a tough case because of the lack of facts...

    July 7, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. Steven Colo

    Good Lord. A jury found in a trial that the evidence was not adequate to convict Casey. Why is Nancy Grace still saying that they were all wrong, and she is right, and Casey is guilty?

    If she were a practicing lawyer right now, would she still be yammering to the judge about what a rotten judge he is, after he had passed sentence?

    Nancy, there are times when it is best to be silent.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  11. michelle

    It is not Nancy Grace's fault that this jury didn't bother to review one single piece of evidence while in the jury room. They didn't bother to even take any notes during the trial. Too bad they couldn't be held in contempt. Even a fast review of the evidence should have been 3-4 days. They are no bettee thzn the OJ Simpson jury. No wonder jurors are now saying they made a mistake and that Casey is not innocent. This should haunt them because it will not Casey, she will party on and on. I cannot believe supposedly educated people could not follow directions and take their jury duty right. When Casey comes up again for killing another person they can have the blood on their hands. The defendent's lawyer Mason flipping off the reporters, bystanders znd world is exactly what his client did and the jury did to the legal system.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  12. Peter Murdoch

    Yeah she went after the Duke players and then didn't show up for work when the truth was told about them! In Nancy's sick world everyone is guilty evidence is NOT necessary. She was sure the person who worked at Elizabeth Smart's house was guilty even though he was not! Wow.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  13. sugarmama

    Nancy Grace doesn't have to agree with the verdict, but she has to accept it.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  14. Walter L

    I believe Nancy Grace is wrong. The Jury is not the Judge of the Law. The Judge is the Judge on the law. The Jury is the Judge on the facts of the case and who/what they believe. Nancy has lost a lot of credibility from me. And CNN has as well.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jason

    Hilarious how she can't say Casey Anthony's name. It always has to be "tot mom".

    July 7, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98