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. Dave

    lol... did you see nancy grace when the clerk read the verdict??? I thought her (already huge) head was going to explode...

    July 7, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
    • JakeC

      Ah...such a shame that she didn't just have an aneurism on the spot when her I'M ALWAYS RIGHT false belief was SHATTERED.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Nanto

    Nancy Grace is a disgrace to humanity, she is nothing but someone who tries to make things very dramatic....well..I don't blame her, cause she is paid to do what she is doing.....dramatizing almost everything. I hope she is not like this in real life....cause life would be hell...if I was near her.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. K B

    Nancy Grace, I think you have missed a very big point concerning Casey Anthony. I feel sorry for Casey Anthony. There is no doubt in my mind Casey Anthony either murdered her daughter or neglected Kaylee so she ended up dead. The point is Casey Anthony is a pathological liar. Pathological liars aren’t born that way, they develop that way. And they develop that way through their upbringing and environment. You of all people should know that what we see on the surface with people is not always the truth. I’ve heard her family appear to be very loving people. How does anyone really know? You said her brother appeared to be alright. How do you know?

    I came from a family where it has taken every day of my life to sort through the gossip, lies and have truths in order to find reality and truth. Do you have any idea how hard that is for a child to negotiate and differentiate between fact and fiction? It can drive someone to the brink of insanity not to mention the recurring nightmares.

    It is all of Casey Anthony’s family who contributed directly and indirectly to Kaylee’s death – starting with the demise of Casey Anthony. Casey Anthony did not create her dysfunctional personality on her own.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. terri

    I am concerned about Casey Anthony's release for a different reason. My daughter is 30 and could be her twin. I am afraid for my daughters' safety because she lives in Florida too and now Casey Anthony may be set free tommorrow and go home. My only defense for protection for my daughter is prayer. Before Casey Anthony was arrested, my daughter was followed in a Wal-mart by some strange man who tapped her on the shoulder to say " Has anyone told you that you look just like Casey Anthony?"....not to mention that when I was living down the street from Jose Baez's office at one time, my daughter came to visit and our neighbors were shocked because they thought it was Casey Anthoney coming to my residence. I understand that Casey Anthony wants to change her name and I don't think she should be allowed. This could make things worse for my family because she is such a good liar and people may think that my daughter is really Casey Anthony. I am not divulging my daughters name for reasons of protection. I am advising that we may seek an attorney for our daughters protection since ms.Anthony is one of the most hated woman in the world at this time.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. wrgbiv

    No, Nancy, you don't have to agree–and we don't have to watch your sensationalist, self-righteous filth. That's probably why nobody does, except for when a case like this arises. Enjoy your plummeting Nielsen ratings while the rest of us enjoy the comfort of living under the best judicial system in the world. P.S. Glenn Beck called, and he wants his crazy back.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Backralker85

      Gotta love people without law degrees weighing in saying they knew she was guilty..you know exactly what the media tells you and nothing more so stop it with the firing squads..how would you feel if we offed whoever we just deemed guilty then where would we be? THINK LOGICALLY FOR ONCE

      July 7, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. JakeWH

    Somebody @ CNN management just fire this bimbo...................

    July 7, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. SarahBethB

    Nancy, THANK YOU for exercising your first amendment right. You have the venue to share with all of us opinions and beliefs that many of us share with you. Your passion behind your coverage from the very beginnig of Caylee's reported "missing" has truly touched my heart. If I take anything from this it is to love my family stronger, hug my children more often, and to live life with my family as fully I possibly can. I will never forget your dedication to this case, to your desire for justice. Thank you for being the advocate that you are.

    Sincerely,
    Sarah Beth

    July 7, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
    • jwarino

      barf

      July 7, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Victor

      Sarah, you're so right!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you a Texan?

      July 7, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Backralker85

      Gotta love people weighing in saying they knew she was guilty..you know exactly what the media tells you and nothing more, so stop it with the firing squads..how would you feel if we offed whoever we just deemed guilty then where would we be? THINK LOGICALLY FOR ONCE

      July 7, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. Steve

    Nancy Grace's fanatical handling of this case shows what's wrong with journalism and the media at large these days. I also love how when a minority child goes missing or is murdered, they might get a quick blurb in local news media, but as soon as it's a white child, it's all over the news, and the media pours millions and millions of dollars into turning over every stone. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
    • jeannettelj

      How true your words are, Steve.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Victor

      Are you a racist? The color of any child's skin is given the same media coverage in the USA.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. Backralker85

    "I’m not in the business of forgiving. That’s up to the lord." Funny, that's what the lord calls on you to do. Forgive everyone, like that turn the other cheek thing.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  10. Bugdad

    Nancy, you are the ugliest critter on TV. A virtual parasite on society, you are. A lowly ambulance-chaser. Your squeeky and annoying voice is worse than listening to buck teeth grinding on a hot concrete sidewalk. I "spit" in your general direction

    July 7, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. jwarino

    what is wrong with this poor excuse of a human being ? if she doesnt like something or someone she has this eveil sneer . she is ALWAYS right and cant face her faults or those of others without being vocal and digusting . get her out of thelimelight CNN and maybe some of us will watch instead of trolling the headlines .

    July 7, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. djc

    Everyone can thank Nancy Grace for allowing Casey Anthony to be rich and never having to work another day in her life after she gets her book and tv deals because of how big of a national story this case turned out to be. You might say it backfired right in Nancy's face. At least Nancy will sleep better at night, knowing that she is really the one who put Casey on easy street.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. t-man

    What a disGrace. This woman is unAmerican and belongs in some third world court system where witch hunts take place. What a maroon!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. George Anthony

    Cindy did it, I saw her!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Victor

    Nancy, thanks for being an American Hero!!!! Everyone has a right to their opinion in the USA!!! Sad how a tiny portion of the USA think this was justice. How can any mother not report a 2 year missing for 30+ days and walk free? Had Casey had nothing to hide obviously she would have reported her missing on day 1. Failure to report a child missing after 24 hours in itself is a crime!, sad that was not on the the list of charges. No justice in this case for that poor baby girl that was thrown away like trash. Your so right in saying that murder is done in secret and there is in many murder cases with no DNA, fingerprints, video of these types of crimes. "Common Sense" was all that was required in this case. Hard to believe convicted criminals can sit on a capital crime case also. SAD! Nancy, we love you!!!!!!!

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