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. Glenn

    Nancy is a DISgrace to CNN. I can't believe they let her on air. She makes FOX news look fair and balanced afterall.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. Eddie

    She's the green manalishi with the two-pronged crown

    July 7, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. Teresa Holdt

    Hi, this is the first time I have responded and viewed Nancy Grace website. First, let me say after watching ABC news
    tonight juror Jennifer Ford? I can almost (90%) understand why our society and justice system not only fails but can
    be customized/cloned to" blank slates" (mentallly) causing the outcome of injustice to the recent verdict. I personally did not even get involved with the case until about a mth. ago, mainly to watch the wonderful Ashton make such a fool of the
    defense lawyer (what's his name, he actually thinks he's famous and HIS case won?) Sorry to say if the rest of the juror's were like Ms. Ford that is the reason Casey Anthony will be free. Ms. Ford's casual, apathatic,stupid comments
    showed her IQ...like "just wasn't in the PERKS??' really? totally ignore experts, police,evidence,character....
    news flash: Ms. Ford...this is reality, not CSI...you and your other sad,sorry group not only let the legal system down
    what most American's thought was a fair system, you let a beautiful little girl down. She may be forgotten in time but
    your hangups about the family (disfunctional?George? please) You represent what most American (average mom's,
    dads,grandparents...hard working perhaps middle class families FEAR and become not very hopeful what is happening
    to our country. Lack of integrity,justice and ignoring the truly educated experts that gave time,
    energy, research and basically common sense. Now we know and will never be at peace again concerning having
    a fair trial...just hope your son,daughter or grand-daughter will not be a victim of any type of crime. With people like
    you making decisions we are a LOST nation. Thanks for sharing your ignorant, upsetting, casual comments to the world-
    Please do us all a favor, do not appear again on a major or any network/media program.
    You only ignite anger and do not represent a stable, reasonable, intelligent, caring person.
    Now you have set the only one who could have murdered little Callie free, after a 10 hour decision. She will get a pat
    on the hand and cont. to tell her lies and become rich (maybe like you, if you keep the interviews up.)
    Again, do us all a favor...say a prayer not only for yourself but for little Callie who seems to have been forgotten and
    ignored with the decision to set her mother free. What a great example for the future of our own children and
    nation.
    Signing off for good, hopefully the rest of us will not support your spineless comments and lack of convictions.
    Thanks though for giving us a view of your pitiful rational conclusion, which I am sure echo's the same for
    the rest of the sad jurors. Even the alternate juror seemed almost mentally challenged from his interviews earlier...
    why are we not shocked? It's all becoming nice and safe not to be judgemental, not using the God given
    brain He designed so that we would use it to the best of our ablitily and at least reason the facts. 10 hours...
    all it took for you all to dismiss the hard work of not only public officials, officers (that protect you)
    scientist, lifestyle from the beginning was trouble. What did you all focus on? Drama and others being a suspect-
    please, it is so heartbreaking to those who really do care about justice-what a let down and most of all
    it's like little Callie is being murdered all over again. This time not just by the mother but others who just do not care.
    Guess it's true unless it happens to you or your loved ones, justice is just another duty.

    Sincerely,
    T. Holdt, NC

    July 7, 2011 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
    • drbasic

      If you understood the law on reasonable doubt, and take feelings and emotions out, then the verdict was only the correct one. You sound as if you are of a christian faith, if that be the case, remember God judges, and NOT you. No-one said innocent, but rather "not guilty"....huge difference. This due to the "law" of reasonable doubt. If one person says hmm...maybe George was not truthful....bingo reasonable doubt, in accordance with law, it must be not guilty. Saying someone "sounded mentally challenged" is childish and rude of you! Are you saying a mentally challenged person is less of an individual than you? Maybe you should pray for yourself and get the stones out of your own eyes before you belittle another human being....

      July 7, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Don

      In the first place, the name of the child was "Caylee".

      Next, and last, you don't judge by emotion. Even your own God stated that. If you advocate "judgment" of others, take emotions that you espouse out of it, and look at the facts, or lack thereof, and only the facts, or lack thereof.

      Otherwise, how can you judge others that pass judgment on the facts?

      July 7, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tim

    My comment is not to weigh in on this highly publicized case and verdict, rather it is to offer three personal observations on Nancy Grace. Just observations, as I recognize her right to speak her mind;

    1) She paved the way for her current career path by working in the courtrooms, which are mandated by the notion "Innocent until proven guilty", yet every time I turn on the TV I see her giving her opinion to the public about why someone is guilty. Have you ever seen her take to the air with a not guilty position?

    2) With respect to this specific case, she has repeatedly referred to Casey as "Tot Mom" and "Guilty" and "She murdered her daughter". All of this before the case facts were fully presented in the courtroom. I think we can all agree that the media can twist facts to their advantage in the court of public opinion.

    3) We all need to keep in perspective that the jury did not hear or see everything that we did on T.V. The system is set up to ensure that those who are responsible to render a verdict are only privy to admissible evidence as defined by the U.S legal system (Right or wrong..that's the way it is). The same legal system that gave Nancy Grace her claim to fame, has come back and said "not guilty".....which by the way, does not mean "innocent". Yet she continues to say things like "she killed her daughter"...."She is guilty". I am not here to say one way or the other, but to hear Nancy bash her own profession is disgraceful in my opinion.

    I just wish the public would stop giving this women the power that she has. Unfortunately this world is filled with uneducated people who take people like Nancy's word as gospel....when at the end of the day, her show is nothing more then a televised opinion column in the local news paper.

    No one really knows what happened to that little girl, which in itself is heartbreaking, but one thing I know for sure, Nancy Grace is nothing more then tabloid fodder. When forced to learn of such terrible things, does the public really need such biased opinions giving us the "facts"? Just a question...

    July 7, 2011 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. felicia

    Its sad how people wanna bash nancy grace. She is concerned about this case I know im upset that we have a child murderer walking thd streets . Who will probably be a millionaire. And u just because the evidence wasnt enough for thd jury .. there is a thing called common sence I,guess they lacked it. Nancy gracy .. U are a wonderful woman and u have to gorgous twins.. Thank u for being so outspoken and honest. Our world needs more people like u ... So again . Thank u 🙂

    Sincerly
    Felicia

    July 7, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      felicia, learn to spell.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      common sense = personal opinion, which has no place in the court of law.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Cecilia Chand

      People like this scare me...absorbing what they see on a television show and feel that they are informed. A bit of advice: get your news from at least 3 sources. Ask questions. You will become a much more enlightened person and learn to recognize those that may be trying to mislead you.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Chamborde

    Nancy Grace–how the hell does she know what every jury was thinking? She is a bottom-feeding, exploitive, holier than thou twit. Whenever she needs reinforcement, she would play tapes of the poor little girl. Cue the violins. CNN–what has happened to your standards? Please fire this loudmouth.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Cecilia Chand

      I wish that someone would make a reel of all of the lies that she has told just the past few weeks. (Not one of the "specially edited" ones that she rolls each night! Casey's blond friend on the stand saying "Casey told me that she is crazy". Anyone who watched that testimony knows that the friend was referring to a conversation about Cindy.)
      This is Grace's brand of "journalism". Sounds as though she has as much integrity in this profession as she did her last!

      July 7, 2011 at 5:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. Brit

    Its time CNN takes out the trash and Nancy Grace needs to be the first piece of garbage tossed! SHE SHOULD BE IN PRISON HERSELF!!!!! Google Nancy Grace fiance murder and see why!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. Name*janice

    Omg are u kiddin?? I respect nancy Grace cuz she tells it the way it is and u know it!!!! Casey Anthony is a killer and deserves to be punished to the full extend. Those jurors will never sleep well for the rest of their lives knowing they let a murderer walk free!!!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Please step back proof read what you just wrote. People like you are what's wrong with this country.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • drbasic

      Is your typing in English or "text shorthand"? Please use a little grammar so your thought process may be understood.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. Lindamercedes07

    Nancy, perhaps jury misconduct will be discovered and verified, I do not believe the juror’s exam any evidence at all, perhaps they took a few votes, if not a single vote after making some jokes, injected little conversation about case and that was the extent of their deliberations. Mr. Mason is abrupt, nasty, arrogant, and not a very good cross-examiner as an attorney, his abrasiveness keeps him from speaking clearly with precise clarity. Mr. Mason comes off worse than a tyrant does and perhaps an accepting submissive wife could bear his tone. Suggestion to him is, if he is really considering Casey as a guest in their home, until other arrangements can be made, he should always continue to use his false gentle grandfather tone with Casey, or he may too regret ever knowing or hearing the name Casey Marie Anthony. His wife should be aware also, Casey has no respect of person regarding her evil vortex it will not be the first time old man end up with young woman that wife allowed into her home, then, wife tossed out the door or worse. I will not buy, read, or borrow any book written by any of the brainless jurors ever and that is without a doubt or contradiction. It will take all one has to stomach viewing their faces on TV. Yes, you should not speak against jurors, but I can, and they should be named “The Worse Twelve Idiot Morons of the Century.”
    Some laws need to be changed, with respect to jurors and their making monetary gains riding off jury duty, it is their duty and it should not be FOR PROFIT!
    (2) The language of Reasonable Doubt should be changed since it is evident there are truly morons among us that have no ears or understand of legal definitions, not even when spelled out verbally, and/or (3) Jurors should take an IQ Test before serving. Now we will soon have another ticking time bomb killer walking among us whom got away with killing a baby girl, namely, Caylee, because of “The Worse Twelve Idiot Morons of the Century”

    July 7, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      Yep and when you think of the time line and all that was involved, it's shocking the jury returned a verdict so soon. Think about it...what was it, they were out about 4 hours the first day. Well, that is time to go to bathroom, get seated in the conference room, read through the rules, perhaps get some thoughts and comments going. The next day, what?...six hours deliberating? All the evidence, all the videos, all the audios, all the witnesses...and they all come back in what...less than eleven hours with a not guilty. I think they just wanted to go home. I think they were bored with the majority of the trial...lets face it, it was very boring! Look at the alternate jury member that keeps talking on tv....goofy!

      July 7, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • drbasic

      Can you say Slander???

      July 7, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sonya

    I like Nancy Grace. I don't like the way this case was sensationalized by her show. I'm also very dissatisfied with this verdict and I'm wondering, now that one of the jurors has come out and asked to be paid 6 figures for this story, if the jury's motive for acquitting Casey Anthony was money. I think if she was put behind bars this story would definitely die down quickly. But by acquitting her, now the media will follow Casey's every move, keeping this story current and profitable for many people including the Jurors. Also, I think there was probably Jury misconduct. I think they did talk about this trial before all of the evidence was given to them. I can see how one jury person could convince the others to acquit so they could all sell their stories to the highest bidder and write books, etc. about this highly sensationalized story. It seems plausible that some were already leaning towards acquittal and the ones on the fence, if any, probably were talked into acquitting because of the potential to get rich. I don't think Jurors should be allowed to profit from a case after having served on a jury. It's not CSI effect...it's the get rich quick off of the high profile murder case effect.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      No doubt people will buy books, watch movies, etc in regards to this case. I for one, will not. Not one single dime of mine will go to buy or watch anything the defense or Anthony family distribute for money....nor the jury.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  11. dave

    im not a big fan of any show that isnt objective in its thoughts..

    that said. Nancy Grace is dead on accurate in her assessment of this case. the jury screwed up and its sad that tot mom is going to make millions off this case. Furthermore, It's got to be a tough call to prosecute tot moms.. mom. The cost associated with bringing her up on Perjury charges/trial etc are going to be extreme and its sad the taxpayers of FL would have to pay that. that said.. They should DEFINATELY charge her. This case has gotten too much attention to "let it go". and FL can expect a lot more in the way of future perjury's if they dont show the taxpayers.. that the law is the law and their is force behind it.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
    • John David

      I think the taxpayers were served with the verdict of twelve independent jurors. Thank goodness we live in America and not a totalitarian government. You might want to stone the woman.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. max957

    IF CASEY WAS ATTENDING TO CAYLEE AT THE POOL AND GOT DISTRACTED FOR JUST A MINUTE – WHICH CAN HAPPEN WITH A YOUNG PERSON LIKE THAT – AND WAS THEN AFRAID TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT IT AND EVEN MADE THAT OTHER STORY UP TO HIDE IT – THEN THE JURY WAS RIGHT AND THE SYSTEM WORKED.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Demonauel

      Yep....the first thing I'd do if my baby daughter drowned would be put her body in a bag and throw it in the swamp. Are you freakin' kidding me?

      July 7, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. John David

    Ms. Grace is a self-indulged fraud who uses emotional tirades to separate her opinions from those of her audience and guests. She is akin to Jerry Springer in his heyday. Ms. Grace pontificates from a position of self-rightousness that sickens people with any intellect and/ or fairness.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Well said John...she truly is the "Jerry Springer' of the legal system.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. Fox Mulder

    The truth is out there...

    July 7, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. Valerie

    I won't say I am crazy about her show. I watch it some times. I don't care too much for her, how can I say it, sort of rude to others she has on the show that try to talk and she does cut them short some times. However, I'm glad there is such a show. I'm glad she does speak her mind. Just because you don't agree with someone, does not mean they are slime. I do agree with her. I think Casey got very lucky. Yep, lucky. That is, lucky for now. Because the evidence was there, the state did prove she killed her child. But you know what, everyone has their day. If not today, tomorrow. Look at Michael Jackson, dead. Look at OJ, jailed. Casey is a very weird woman and a habitual liar. Casey is a sociopath. It does not matter what someone looks like. Think of Ted Bundy, he looked pretty good, yet, he was a serial killer. Many sociopaths are weird, liars, and look like your all American neighbor. All I pray in regards to this, is that Casey does not kill someone else. If and when she does, I hope the jury can forgive themselves for allowing a murderer to walk.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
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