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. Alanis

    Were we all LIED to by the prosecution? Pictures are worth a thousand words and in this case they may have been the deciding evidence. The prosecution claimed that the duct tape was on Caylee Anthony's face. The defense claims the duct tape was scattered with other trash. If duct tape was found 6 feet away from Caylee's remains, as heard again today, how did the prosecution know the duct tape was EVER on her face or not? The ROOTS that had grown over her skull could have kept the skull together just as tape could have. How do they even know the duct tape wasn't just more trash found at the sight? How do they know the duct tape wasn't just over the bag? If the duct tape could have been on the bag, (then the duct tape could have been ANYWHERE...) how can the prosecution say it was on Caylee's face if it was scattered about? The jury saw the evidence and we never will and the defense was right, all the jury had to do was literally FOLLOW THE DUCT TAPE. – Also, why did George Anthony drive that car home? Why did Cindy Anthony clean out the car? Why aren't they in trouble for tampering with a car that had smelled of "human decomposition"? Why was George so combatative, defensive and rarely answering questions with a yes or no? What is the truth about where the duct tape was found? If the duct tape could have been on the bag, how can the prosecution say it was on Caylee's face??? I feel betrayed by the prosecution and only the jury knows what the pictures really show.... The jury saw ALL of the evidence and saw what we could not, the truth and the truth is, Casey Anthony was not the only liar in this case.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • enuffisenuff

      Well said...couldn't agree with you more.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Your Superior

      You need to shut up.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. Drew

    What about all the people, over the years, sent to prison and maybe worse for crimes they did not commit? DNA anyone?

    July 7, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. Chad

    I am SO thankful that Nancy disGrace is no longer a prosecutor. It is interesting that she mentions that she is a lawyer in good standing with the Georgia Bar. What she does NOT mention is that she was twice reprimanded for PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT by the Supreme Court. Check out the link below from Wikipedia and click on "Career as Prosecutor". Seriously, if the feedback from this blog is any indication, CNN should take another look at keeping her on. They have kept her bc of the ratings they have enjoyed from this case. But I think the people have had enough of her lynch mob mentality. I predict that within 6 months she will be gone.

    en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Grace

    July 7, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. Peter Murdoch

    She even plagarized in her book. CNN needs to expose Nancy Grace and the trial of bad things she has done. People are being sold a bill of goods on this sicko. Do some research on her career as lawyer and commentator and writer in all areas she did things wrong. And CNN lets her go right on.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mike Houston

    Nancy Grace, you're wrong. Your show on Nightly News is nothung more than rabble rousing. That a "not guilty" verdict
    was rendered in the Anthony case murder 1, manslaughter, and negligence charges merely reflects the fact that the jury
    was not persuaded "beyond a reasonable doubt" that those charges were true. It is also a fact that a "not guilty as charged" verdict does NOT mean that the jury believed that "Tot Mom" was innocent of SOME kind of criminal behavior. She simply was not "charged" with a kind of criminal act for which they could/woujd have rendered a "guilty as charged" verdict. so just stop your rabble rousing and move on.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. Gumlaut

    No, Nancy you don't have to agree. But who cares, you've just made a living off this horrible, horrible event. Shame on you.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. MM101

    She would be taken more seriously if she stopped with this retarded nomer of "tot mom"

    This lady is ridiculous. She has been defaming Casey Anthony this entire time. Anthony is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and yet Grace has been saying she's guilty the whole time.

    You can be convicted of murder without a body, yes. The prosecution tried to get her a capitol murder charge: premeditated murder. They needed to prove to the jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that she had done this. You know what you need to prove that?

    Body. Method. Motive. Opportunity.

    2 of them are easy: body and opportunity. The prosecution needs to prove the motive and the method. To prove the method you need to tie the victim to the accused: proof of cause of death and proof of how she did it. They couldn't prove how the girl died nor that the mother had committed said act.

    I can't believe she is allowed to defame her for weeks on end without repercussion.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. Peter Murdoch

    Nancy Grace lovers read the wikipedia article on her http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Grace

    July 7, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. Steve Edmonson

    I'm thinking we will all be leaving Nancy DisGrace in the dark this time next week. Enjoy your momentary spike on the Clinton News Network and enjoy your fall to HELL you " who's a laughing guy now, Biased, evil Bit@$!!!!!!!!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  10. Heloise Love

    I wonder if another murder of a 70 year old man in Florida will even get a mention on national news...not hot enough? Not a tot mom...BUT....a successful business man who was a San Diego ICON...He brought Honda to the states in the late 60s...and was murdered by his girlfriend. hmmmm....another Florida murder trial.....she probably has funds to hire an attorney to get her off with a hand slap....or maybe not...because his family has $.....The $ usually wins.....

    July 7, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. Michael Martinez

    Nancy Grace is a poisonous hate monger whom CNN needs to dump so that people don't get riled up over inflated emotional tirades. Even the state prosecutor conceded they lacked conclusive evidence to show that Casey Anthony murdered her child. Nancy's delusional interpretation of justice is to poison the American public against any accused and deny them a fair trial. Thank God the members of this jury weren't influenced by her ratings-driven sensationalistic agenda. And it's a good think she's not a prosecuting attorney any more as well.

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

    Nancy Grace was an absolutely lousy prosecutor (check her record). Why does anyone listen this clown?

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

    Nancy Grace is a money Grubbing Media W H O R E.. It is her fault and the Media Circus She Created, they are the ones who should be found Guilty!!! It was all for the $$$$$$$$$ and Nacy Grace made ALOT of it off the Death of Caylee, Don't be FOOLED she never wanted justice for Caylee, all she wanted was the DRAMA and Attention and DYSFUNCTIONAL America FELL for it Again!

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

    Nancy's problems all started when she said "...Look, I don't want to get ugly.."

    Too late.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  15. Adrienne Wright

    You go Nancy G!

    I agree with everything you said above. Thank God for your show, its honesty and search for the truth. You deserve a metal and an award for your good work. Keep on plugging and I will keep on watching.

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