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. Kristen

    Nancy Disgrace..... Please get off the air!!! There are so many other ways to advocate for missing children than you spouting off on HLN. She CONSTANTLY interrupts her panel when she asks a question and shows no respect for anyone's opinion – unless they are agreeing with her. If Nancy is so right with her opinions and her prosecution savvy – go back to the courtroom and show us how it's done!! But for the love of God – please get off the air!!

    July 6, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Y

      Shut up Kristen, you are just a nobody and nothing you say can influence anyone in the world. But Nancy can. At least she is at the front line you are in the home comfort zone. I bet if you are exposed you won't dare to say anything that makes you look bad.

      July 8, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. Speakinghonest

    You know she needs some.......parrrrrrrrtttttea

    July 6, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Amy

    Nancy Grace does not belong on tv simple as that.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JayEm

    Nancy as a "former" lawyer you should know why the verdict went the way it did, they followed the law and not their emotions. I'm glad that, and maybe there is a good reason why, you are no longer prosecuting cases.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. statsbackbabe

    You tell them, Nancy! Just like you told them how the Duke Lacross Team was obviously guilty, guilty, guilty! You don't need the law! You're always right, even when you're talking out of the wrong hole!

    July 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. boneman

    Nancy Grace is a Cow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just shut up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • anna brantham

      Well, just your screen name, BONEMAN, takes you off my list of people that are intelligent. Oh, sorry. My sentence probably confused you.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nfldman1976

    No Nancy you don't have to agree, but there is not a damn thing you can do about it except run your mouth.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clearwater Sucks

      umm just like you are right now?

      July 6, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • anna brantham

      watch your mouth

      July 6, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Laura Fitzgerald

    Nancy Grace is a truly ugly individual. Her lack of respect for our justice system speaks volumes as to why she is doing "Talk TV" instead of being a working attorney. She couldn't cut it and is now just a CNN hack

    July 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • anna brantham

      And, are you a person with a degree? Is it in law? Exactly what credentials do YOU have? (judgement flies both ways)

      July 6, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prometheus

      I agree 100% anna brantham, judgement DOES fly both ways as you stated. That's why in response to Nancy's opinion we are letting our opinion 'fly' back to her to let her know we think she's full of crap.

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

      too bad you don't have the johns to state your own name then, prometh....blah, blah. If you have an opinion, and you believe you are right or whatever, at least be fearless and state YOUR NAME.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • anna brantham

      And, you didn't mention your schooling. High school? BA? AA? What do you have in your pocket of credentials to be raging what you have said???? C'mon....are you educated at all?

      July 7, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
    • anna brantham

      Really.....are you qualified to do the same job as Nancy Grace or any other news person or any attorney or even any degree-requiring position/job??? Are you qualified period to do that and what is your name so everyone knows it's you and you are (since you are acting as if you are all that)????

      July 7, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
    • LAG

      Anna, Im sure that you have more than your share of problems. Try not to get so worked up over the things in life that you can't control...like the fact that Nancy Grace is a pathetic excuse for an American.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  9. Clearwater Sucks

    I agree with every single word she said. Thank you Ms Grace for summing it up so well. Bad jury, bad!

    July 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rose

      Let's hope you don't do anything to get on her bad side.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • anna brantham

      Me too. And, I have to agree, Clearwater isn't the best anymore. It was better years ago. Hope it is better there soon:)

      July 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • anna brantham

      BTW, shush, Rose. You're another angry onlooker.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bryan

    I think after a year and a half of being called a baby killer...Casey will eventually kill her self.

    She may get some money from a book(horrible)...but good luck going into public Casey!!!

    July 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • anna brantham

      yeah....she would've been safer in prison. There are crazier people out there than her, amazingly.

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

    I hate NANCY, waaaaaaaaa, waaaaaaaa, Nancy is making me watch her, waaaaaaa, waaaaaa, I am powerless to change the channel

    July 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clearwater Sucks

      well, the remote IS all the way on the other side of the sofa and their beer belly is a little hard to reach around. you can't really blame them.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jennie Eccher

    I still am in shock as to the verdict. Everything piece of evidence pointed to her guilt yet she walks free. I am loosing faith in our Judicial system; unfortunately someone gets arrested for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family and gest a year+ in prison but someone can kill an innocent child and get away with it; where is justice? I feel that there are three types of people in this world good, bad and evil and for someone to kill an innocent child I would consider that person as evil. Nancy please stop addressing Casey as the tot mom. To be a mom is a blessing and an honor and I wouldgladly lay my life down for my child . By addess Casey as the tot mom you are disgracing good loving moms, I think that otherwise you did an excellent job and I commend all your efforts in this horrific case.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Willow

    It was the death penalty that set Casey free. If the prosecution had gone for life in prison, I bet the jury would have said guilty. People don't want the weight of someone's death on their conscience.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • anna brantham

      think you're right, Willow. the whole thing makes me sick and sad.

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

      Agreed!

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

    It does not sit well with me that the jury is being raked over the coals. Out of line!

    July 6, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • carla

      Thank you K. I'm glad someone is sticking up for them. Someone a few posts back stated they were losing faith in our justice system. If anything, this has raised my faith in it. It has shown that a jury can look past their emotions and rule the way the evidence or lack of it steers them.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. steve

    I dunno...we're going to get a point where Casey is going to start a Slander suit against Nacey Grace if she doesn't shut her mouth.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      Nancy Grace needs to shut up. She is part of the reason for this case being over-publicized and polluted by the media. If anything she is a cause of Anthony's freedom. "would have put in my boots and looked for Caylee myself" you're full of crap. Stay in your nice snug media chair and shut your mouth. Cannot stand the people who get praised for their stupidity.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • CSMinDC

      That would be the silver lining.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I absolutely agree...Detective Grace I mean Nancy Grace should have watched the same trial I did and heard the jury instructions I heard...EVERY element must be proven beyond reasonable doubt...Its a fail for the state more than anything

      July 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • anna brantham

      Justin, CSMinDC, Chris, steve: Do any of you have degrees? Like from a university? Or are you just specialized in drugs and partying?? Because you are showing your backsides right now. PLEASE REMEMBER A CHILD OF ALMOST 3 YEARS OLD IS GONE. HAVE COMPASSION. HAVE REVERENCE. (you probably don't know what that word means). A news person didn't kill their child. So, don't beat up a news person. Many of us appreciate the news so we know what's going on in our country. If you don't like that, maybe you have something criminal to hide.

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