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. Peter Murdoch

    If the jury had been watching tv the would have convicted her. I guess tv no longer has to be objective now it is the new lynch mob. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Grace

    July 7, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mike S

    Nancy Grace is nothing more than a loud mouth POS. Just listen to her voice..is there anything more annoying and grating...JUST TURN HER OFF FOLKS. Other than not having anything to contribute she is simply just a wast of air space/time and only those people with no life or opinion would bother to watch this usless/clueless individual. BYE BYE NANCY GRACE>>>>WE CAN DO WITHOUT YOUR UGLY PLASTIC FACE ON OUR TELEVISIONS

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

      you must be a regular if you're getting this worked up, dude. TURN HER OFF FOLKS!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. Webhoncho

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

    Too late.

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

    I the verdict was evidence that our incredibly elegant judicial system still works in some manner. Burden of proof being on the prosecution, they simply could not carry it. Whether it is a verdict of truth or not, it is a perfect example of innocent unless PROVEN guilty. Nancy needs to accept this fact and shut her trap.

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

      Why is she no longer allowed to express her opinion. She feels the jury was wrong...as do MOST Americans. No reason for her to not express it.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. Right To Your Opinion

    Isn't it ironic that Nancy says "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. "?
    As a former prosecutor, did she think the evidence proved she was overwhelmingly guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?
    Can she admit she might be wrong?
    Does she believe in the adage "Judge not lest you be judged"?

    It's a great country where everybody can express their opinion.
    Again, the Executive in charge of CNN News should clearly state the show is OPINION and NOT factual reporting of the news.

    CNN could be held accountable for inciting mob violence if harm were to come to the jurors, defense attorneys, or the Anthony family. Especially if facts uncovered after the trial proved the jury right.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      The answers to your questions are yes, yes and no. What if facts uncovered after trial proved them WRONG? Violence wouldn't be right either way but they WERE WRONG! I really dislike Nancy Grace but in this case she has hit the nail on the head!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dan

    I hope someone takes the law into their own hands

    July 7, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. Grandma Bugs

    Our justice system is an huge crock of crap....When judges don't know the laws of this land, and become bias, not in the Casey Anthony case but in many other cases across Americas.......it is what it feels like in the majority of true United States Citizens...you are staring into the facade, called our justice system ....it works with certain interest groups that rattles their chamber cages....this is just one small pitiful example...wake up America we're being taken. Seriously something stinks to high heaven.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
    • JakeC

      Hey ol' Grandma Bugs, would it make you happy if we just had EVERYONE PRESUMED GUILTY shot dead on the spot without even a trial so as to AVOID that messy necessity of EVIDENCE in a trial? So what if a few innocents are bumped off along the way right? Eh Granny? Do you agree?

      July 7, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      JakeC, I don't think that is what Grandma said...you took a GIANT leap to get to shooting people on the spot. WOW, stick with what the actual post says and don't add your own crap.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. OJ Simpleton ( R-Ohio )

    Hay! Leave ma biotch alone!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  9. AlexSD

    Nancy Grace is the one who hates the jury, assassinates everybody from her low-ratings TV show, and refuses to see the facts. I am tired of the talking heads criticizing the jury and refusing to use their heads to think about the following: were there any pieces of evidence that Casey killed her daughter? I strongly tend to agree with Jose Baez: the case was built solely on fiction. Nancy Grace and others should back off, get off of Casey's, the jurors', and the judge's backs!

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

    If she was black she would have been convicted.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve Edmonson

      If she were black Nancy Dis-grace would have reall been all over it because that seems to be a Hot-button subject lately.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    i hope for her sake that a lot of Mrs. Grace's TV persona is an act. She comes off as one of the meanest, most bitter people iIve ever seen on TV. More importantly, the tone she set in talking about this trial set off a frightening mob mentality. Casey Anthony may have been guilty (I personally don't know), and she is without a doubt horribly immature, selfish, and ultimately a very, very bad parent...but it was ridiculous to judge her every facial expression and continually talk about her as if she is some sort of evil witch. Also...calling her "Tot Mom" trivialized and sensationalized a tragedy. In her own way Ms. Grace is considerably more immature than most of the people she rails against.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Blah...

      "...[C]alling her 'Tot Mom' trivialized and sensationalized a tragedy. In her own way Ms. Grace is considerably more immature than most of the people she rails against."

      Thank you for this.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. Steve Edmonson

    You can't search for the truth when you are blind with aggression!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jim M

    Probably guilty but state didnt prove the case. However, when is someone gonna throw a net over Nancy and put her in an insane asylum? Shes made a career out of accusing many innocent people of horrible crimes and still shes on TV. Shes rude, beligerant, and just plain nasty. And I for one hate her guts. Who are the morons who watch her every night and keep her on the air? If there is any justice in the world something horrible will happen to her. GO TO HELL NANCY AND GET OFF TV!!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • JakeC

      I would venture to GUESS that MOST of her LOYAL LOONS won't be posting hear as the trailer trash probably are not that computer saavy. LOL Bet I'll get BOOTED for that comment. Ooops! So much for FREE SPEECH then.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sean

    Nancy makes money from being a self-righteous opinionated antagonist. She has nothing whatsoever to do with news. She's an entertainer on par with Mr. T. She caters to those angry about their lives, who feel things aren't fair. CNN looks like a bunch of chumps for airing a word she says. Follow the money. Always follow the money.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  15. Joan

    The jury may have found her "not guilty" in the criminal case, but my question is, can Cindy and George file a civil wrongful death case against Casey in the death of Caylee, like was done in the O.J. Simpson case? They won the wrongful death case in O.J.'s case, and if Casey starts making a lot of money from book deals, movie deals, interviews, etc., they could then hit her where it hurts and take any money she makes off of Caylee's death. It's bad enough Casey killed her, but for her to profit off of it is too much to bear! So can Cindy and George sue her for wrongful death??

    July 7, 2011 at 12:16 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