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. George Anthony

    Cindy did it! I saw her!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mark

    Nancy Grace is slime. Period. See, I can exercise my First Amendment rights too...that is, if CNN – her pedestal, doesn't censor me.

    Crawl back under that rock, dear and find a real career. Your past two have been remarkable flops.

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

      LOL you jerk if her career is such a flop why are you spending time entertained by it!!!! Guess Nancy gets the last laugh here.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. t-man

    Hey, check out her picture. She's wearing a wedding ring. Poor sob to wake up next to that.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. Steven

    Nancy Grace is a shrill pontificating wind bag! If the USA followed her example of justice we could just as easily be living in a totalitarian state. She was not in the courtroom and her hyperbolic comments do not serve the cause of fairness.The "crowd" that listens to her show are the same ones who read "People "magazine..ie..not the intelligencia.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. David

    Nancy Grace is in it for the ratings, she is good at reporting half truths. When she dosn't get the answers she wants, she cuts the person off. It's her view or the highway Look at the story about lawyer's drinking and living it up video she had on yesterday, I didn't see one glass in sight or bottle. Nancy Grace should open her eyes and look before making false statements TOTS NANCY GRACELESS is the most bias person on the planet with a panel of crybaby's who think they know everything. One day she preaches how great the jury was and that they know what their doing, until the jury comes back with a non guilty, just to run the jury into the ground.Good night FAir weather friend.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
    • SarahBethB

      She is not the most bias person in the world. Passionate and dedicated dothnot biased make.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. t-man

    This is why she is on TV. She is entertainment. A professional entertainer. She draws a rise out of the public. It is a good thing that the entertainers word counts for NOTHING!!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. stephen Hoffecker

    Nancy Grace makes money from crime. Her job security comes from people killing someone. If the trials stop then so does Nancy Grace.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. rick

    It made my day when Nancy Dis-grace was shown to be the idiot that she is when this case went the way she was sure it wouldn't. Now if only they would take her off the air because she has shown once again she doesn't really know what she is talking about. good thing she isn't a prosecutor anymore, she would never win a conviction because she is so stupid!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. Honey Belly

    Well this is the most why I LIKE NANCY GRACE. She's got that thing which most of the ppl dont. She could talk and tell the truth to the world. I've known her only when i started to follow this case and I totally agree with her.
    "They wanted a murder weapon – the murder weapon was tot mom’s hands" This sentence really got me Laughing. I just wanted to say if I were given a chance, I'd be following her .. all the best Nancy keep going ahead.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
    • JakeC

      Honey Belly, would YOU and Nancy "Messiah" Grace be happier if ALL WHO ARE PRESUMED GUILTY were just SHOT DEAD ON THE SPOT in order to avoid the MESSY NECESSITY of the awful thing called EVIDENCE?

      July 7, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      Tots Nancy Grace is a disgrace who thinks she is God. The devil is dancing because Nancy Grace is doing what the Devil wants her to do, by faning the flames of hatred. You should be taken off the air.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sherman Bennett

    What will it take to get Nancy Grace off CNN? Besides not watching her program, that is.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. notafanBUTRIGHTON!

    I'm not a fan of hers but in this article she is 100% correct!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bubba-gump

    I apologize for seeming to be a bit naive, but I was under the impression that I live in a country where you are innocent until proven guilty and if you are not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, then you must be found not guilty. Thankfully the court of popular opinion ended with the Salem witch hunts. The laws of our great land were written with the intent that - we would rather have 100 guilty people go free, than to wrongly imprison 1 innocent person. For better or for worse, justice has been served. Do I personally believe Casey is guilty? Absolutely. Was it proven beyond a reasonable doubt? Unfortunately, absolutely not. Given this – the jury made the correct decision. At the end of the day, it's not what you know or what you believe - it's what you can prove.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. Andrew

    Only Nancy Grace has the power to make a baby-killer seem sympathetic by comparison.

    And by the way, Nancy, her name is Casey Anthony. Please stop trying to make "Tot Mom" a thing.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  14. RK

    "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."

    Explanation: State did not meet its Burden of Proof.
    Logic is not supposed to determine verdicts. Evidence does.
    This chick is her own problem and truly belongs on any of today's "reality" tv show were very little is real or relevant to a logical, thinking person.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. fanofall

    I would expect Nancy Grace to respect her profession and the criminal courts by not irresponsibly bashing the jury. All the jury did was find her not guilty, which is not the same as professing innocence.It's unfortunate that people like Nancy Grace have a public forum to irresponsibly inflame the passions of the public.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
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