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. Jim

    Grace is just a female 'shock jock' who thrives on controversy. She claims to be an ex prosecutor – yet she can't handle our legal system working as designed. The JURY heard the evidence presented and said there was not enough evidence to convict her. END OF STORY GRACE!!!!!! Your opinion, as you have proven many times, is of no consequence.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • j

      Thank YOU !!!

      July 7, 2011 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Blaise

      No, the system failed. No one ever said it was a perfect system, just better than the alternatives. She has a right to disagree with an asinine verdict, just like I have a right to disagree with your asinine post.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mike C

    GET OFF THE TV YOU HARPY.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. McMountain

    Here comes Nancy Disgrace!

    July 7, 2011 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jesus the Jew

    Nancy Grace is a twát. It makes me sick that I happen to agree with her.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. pkfops

    So how much $$$$ has Nancy and the other "TV" people made off of this dead girl?

    July 7, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
    • j

      More then we will ever know..

      July 7, 2011 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. Londongirl

    Ok, COMPLETELY uncalled for! These are mean and horrible comments and watch out that your words don't turn around on you. Don't say these things...as a cancer survivor myself, they hurt to the core. You clearly don't like Nancy; that's fine. But, don't go there with your cancer comments...I'm sure you regret what you said or you will later on.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
    • andy

      nancy grace is a parasite on society
      she exploits dead children to make money
      disgusting

      July 7, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Roger

      right on!~!

      July 7, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Sad example of a real journalist !

      Wasn't there an incident some time ago where Nancy Dis Grace hounded and blasted a young women who commited some crime to the point of taking her own life ?

      July 7, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • jon e

      thats a beautiful haiku. lol. ok bad call but i thought it was funny at first...

      July 8, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. getrealnow

    Nancy, I agree with you. We do NOT have to agree with this jury. This jury missed something in their childhoods, like dot to dot, tracing, deductive reasoning skills, and phonics. The prosecution spelled it out for them...M U R D E R. The defense opening statement that Caylee died on the 15th of June and that Casey was there at the death should drive home the point that CASEY was the last person to see her alive. If this jury had Casey's DNA on the garbage bag or duct tape they would still interpret "reasonable doubt" to be the other .05% of DNA's 99.95% reliability. WHY is it unpatriotic in some way to say the jury was not bright? And if I hear one more time that we had to be in the courtroom to see things as the jury did....I will croak. WE were in the courtroom!

    July 7, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
    • az

      you're a fcking moron. why talk like that about people you do not know? you dont know them! not one ioda! They were chosen because they knew nothing of the case. pretend for a second you had no idea who any of these people were and watch the case as it went. You would honestly tell me you would sentence this person to death based soley on the evidence provided? THAT right there is what scares me about our system. EMOTIONAL OPINION DOES NOT EQUAL FACT!!!!! good lord

      July 7, 2011 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sue Watts

    Please Nancy help us to understand the decision. How can this happen? Can anyone file a civil suit against Casey for wrongful death? The Goldbergs did why can't the public? I feel like Caylee belonged to all of us. Please help us.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Blaise

      You seem to guess the answer to your own question, but no, members of the general public lack standing to sue for the death of Caylee. If it makes you feel any better, the State of Florida is suing her for special costs in the investigation since she was convicted of misleading the police.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff Wilkinson

    Nancy Grace needs to find another profession. She spent years convicting Casey Anthony before the jury had a chance to speak. In my native country, Canada, she would have been in contempt of court. But while U.S. law is much different, I have to think the jury couldn't find the evidence in this case to convict. The prosecutor was awful and the defence had the best team. In the end, they could only prove Casey Anthony lied. That's not to say I don't believe Casey Anthony committed murder. I just don't believe the prosecution proved its case. But all that being said, Nancy Grace needs to re-evaluate how she conducts her show. A defendant in a trial is always innocent until proven guilty. I may not agree with the verdict, but as a retired reporter, I believe the media should concentrate on the facts and leave the judgement in trials to a jury or a judge.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Blaise

      This ain't your country, eh? Around here we get to say what we want, eh? If you don't like it, go listen to the next person, eh?

      July 7, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. art

    Nancy Grace is subverting the american justice system. People like Dr Drew and her remind me why we have a jury system.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. az

    you people are a bunch of emotional dumbazzes. YOU CANNOT CONVICT IN A COURT OF LAW JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK SHE DID IT!!!!!!!!!! PROSECUTION DIDNT HAVE HARD EVIDENCE!. YES CASEY WAS PROBABLY RESPONSIBLE BUUUUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT REASONABLE DOUBT PROTECTS DEFENTANDS AGAINST ABSOLUTELY MORONS LIKE YOU!

    July 7, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. Seth

    She had a fair trial. The jury wasn't convinced of her guilt. She went free. The system works.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. slb86

    Finally, I can agree with Nancy Grace on this one.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
    • JakeC

      Yes...and I'll BET you would agree with Nancy that getting rid of the MESSY NECESSITY of that thing called EVIDENCE or even unnecessary trials and ALLOW for the INSTANT EXECUTION of ALL WHO ARE PRESUMED GUILTY would be a NOVEL IDEA.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. JakeC

    Hey MSDISGrace and your Mobile Home Loony fans...let's make you ALL happy. Let's just start letting Nancy tell us WHO should be KILLED in the STREETS without the MESSY NECESSITY of a trial or evidence...yeah, vigilante justice and TO HELL with the INNOCENTS who may be slaughtered along the way as long as Nancy BELIEVES them to be guilty, they were PROBABLY guilty of SOMETHING.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. Susan

    Love you Nancy!

    July 7, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
    • JakeC

      Susan...your landlord called and said your trailer lot rental is due so maybe you should stop LOVIN' Nancy and get out of the trailer long enough to pay your bills hun.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
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