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 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. Dean

    Nancy Grace is a snarling, opportunistic windbag who make a handsome income and career opining and preying on the legal misfortunes of the average American "salt of the earth" Joe. This country would be much better off without her endless rants and opinions. She needs to crawl back under the rock from which she once emerged. Viewers should assist her by tuning her show out ! I don't know who has done more damage this country, OBL or Nancy Grace.....

    July 6, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chava

    First of all,It is total nonsense to have a death penalty . Taking hand for hand , head for head is a jungle law.
    1) If a person convicted of death penaly today and got killed by State is proved to be an innocent with additional evidence which may cropup later, Can the state bring back the person died due to death penalty? Is it not be a state murder and what punishment can the state takes in those kind of cases.
    2) Purpose any punishment is correcting a wrong doer. So if a convicted person is killed by state, what kind of Correction it is?
    3)If state thinks that it is a burden to society to maintain convicted criminals in jail, there are lot of ways to make them work and contribute to economy. The convicted criminals can be trained in tailoring kinds of jobs and see that they produce some goods. They can be made as a farm labor and make them work in a confined environemnt. I am not recommending to leavve them free on the streets. but killing a criminal is a Jungle Law.

    4) Only can the god create a life. so only he has the right to take away the life.

    So let us not be in a revenge mode.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Speakinghonest

      Chava ur an idiot

      July 6, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • splasher6

      its eye for an eye and its not jungle law its from the bible...

      July 6, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John D.H.

    Nancy is loud mouthed and a piece of trash. She is a lawyer? She doesn't understand how the legal system works and that you have to connecct the dots, i.e. tell a story that convinces the jury. I wasn't there and I think if I were, I would have taken it real seriously and think hard. For this woman to say she is right, and from day 1, even before any evidence was made public, she was saying Casey was guilty. That is absurd. That means without hearing any evidence she found Caesy guilty. Most of us believe she is but that is not the standard in a court of law

    July 6, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. splasher6

    and you don't have to sensationalize it either Nancy. A lot like the Duke La Cross players, what makes entertainment doesn't always make facts...

    July 6, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Skip Caldwell

    Dear Nancy,
    You are far more evil than Casey Anthony. You are a hate monger. And you do it for the love of money... the root of all evil. Course you won't read this... "Stars" like you have unpaid interns sheilding you from email that you wouldn't like.
    Skip C

    July 6, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rose

      vigilante' hate monger at that

      July 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. schmez

    Nancy "About to Fall From" Grace, has now become Nancy DISGrace. I don't wish to further add more verbage than that.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jerk

    Like o.j And casey anthony, will the state never present someone else as the killer or will we just have to live with knowing they did it and got away with it?

    July 6, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Clearwater Sucks

    It bothers me that they are being raked over the coals too. I think they should be drawn & quartered.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    I thought Nancy might eat crow after Casey Anthony was acquitted by a jury of her peers (rightly or wrongly), but I see now that was a really stupid assumption. After all, this disgusting human being didn't even apologize after a woman she was interviewing KILLED HERSELF! And then there's the legendary Elizabeth Smart interview. A truly tasteless person that shows the sad state of journalism these days.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • carla

      If she had said ANYTHING remotely close to being wrong on the verdict, I would have fallen over. She has invested 3 years into this case only to see the case go awry. Same with the Duke LaCrosse team. She just can't accept the verdicts were different from hers.

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

    I had no idea Nancy Grace was infallible. Wait, she isn't. Wasn't she wrong before in a big big way? Move on lady.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. DJ Reality

    Nancy... I am truly sorry that some in this world caused you lose your humanity. Please go out to this world and prove that Casey is guilty, After all you and your network have a lot of money and can easily do it. Before you ruin another life again and cause another person to end their life why don't you think before you flap your gums. Email me before Your mouth caused one more death.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Disgrace

    Nancy Grace isn't credited with making this a national story. She is credited for making this a national mockery. She is nothing more than a tabloid reporter on a media outlet decomposing into the realm of grocery store checkout lines. She is an ego driven idiot who fights with her own panels and with the ridiculously insulting tabloid euphemism like 'tot mom'. She is a disgrace who has failed at practicing law as well as anything resembling journalism. Take her lime light away!

    July 6, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • BikerBabe 53

      Wow Disgrace...what a plethora of simpleton verbal! ....You should write Childrens Books!

      July 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. American meth-head in Ogden,ut

    I love Nancy Grace !!! Will you have my baby !! ?? I will love u forever – even when u get old and ugly !

    July 6, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • jojo

      "EVEN when"???

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

      OOOPS! Too late!

      July 6, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Priori

    I guess you also don't have to agree with this: Every major case in recent US history that has been turned into a talk show spectacle has had a similar result. Does this make you, and others who profit from such trials, to blame for the outcome? I don't know.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan Gleason

      Right on. Nancy Grace is a snake. She thinks everyone is guilty before they are tried, as long as they have been arrested. Maybe Casey Anthony got away with murder, but when did our justice system turn into talk show entertainment. Nancy Grace got in trouble for witness tampering when she was a prosecutor in Atlanta. I wish she was doing hard time and some he/she's were making her wear overalls.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Omar Ghaddafi

    This is an outrage! Where is nato against this crime? What have I done compared to cayce? However does anyone know how I could get that jury?

    July 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
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