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. Margaret

    What a sad country and justice system we employ when a woman as heinous as this can murder her daughter and not only get away with it, but most likely profit from it. How can this jury possibly feel as though they have served their immeasurable responsibility with this outcome. What a sad, sad, and disgraceful day this is for America and our legal system....what have we become. I only pray, that there is indeed is a maker and this woman will suffer for eternity, for the incomprehensible crime she has clearly committed. This verdict is beyond my conception.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bob

    I hope Casey sues Nancy Grace for all that she is worth. Nancy Grace stated repeatedly in the above article that Casey killed her daughter. This, after the jury declared her innocent.

    Nancy Grace is a sick and twisted person – she needs to be brought to justice.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. georjetset

    Nancy needs to shut-up already!! She has squeezed this case down to the rind, and then some. What is she going to do now that there is no more "Tot Mom" story?? Her ratings are going to shrivel up like her boobs.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Well, you would be BEGGING her to air your story if your kid was missing. Wow.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      @Guest - Not if she had it in her head wrongly that I was responsible!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. WARREN

    Nancy Grace.....YOU GOT PUNKED!!

    July 7, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mick

    I'm sorry, WHY are we still listening to this old parade float with an AFTRA card?

    July 7, 2011 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  6. b. Slider

    who cares what that blabbermouth moron nancy grace thinks. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of people who believe she did it!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nathan

    Wow, I HATE NANCY GRACE!!! She says there is no logical way that the jury reached their conclusion? You are RIDICULOUS. No one (not even Dr. G) could determine whether the child was murdered, or if it was an accident. If you cannot concisely say that it was murder, how could anyone CONVICT someone of murder. I also think Casey Anthony did kill her daughter, but this is how the legal system works. Last time I checked, we have one of the best in the world....

    July 7, 2011 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
    • FireNancyGrace

      Casey dumped the body in the trash, as the duct-tape + blanket + trunk evidence shows. That's enough for child *abuse*, even though we do not know what happened before. Just the fact that she failed to request medical attention for a dying child is abuse, because she indirectly caused harm to the child in doing so.

      That is why the acquittal was illogical. An acquittal is not logically compatible with the evidence shown. The jurors, in their rush to get it done quickly and go home, failed to connect the dots. And as much as I dislike Nancy Grace, she has a right to denounce this.

      Having faith in our justice system does not mean that we should assume that the jury is infallible. Juries make mistakes, and understanding how these mistakes were made is part of our democracy.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. Drew

    Joe- 100% correct. come on cancer-Nancy awaits your return!

    July 7, 2011 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • donna

      Drew ...you are truly an idiot

      July 7, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. Susan

    Where is my first post?

    July 7, 2011 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • JakeC

      I had it deleted...sorry!

      July 7, 2011 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. julia

    It's pretty hard to take someone seriously when she comes up with a cutesy nickname like "Tot Mom" for an accused murderer.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. a

    a

    July 7, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. windrider2

    Nancy Grace's own words explain why she is no longer a prosecutor. She has no respect for the law, no respect for the burden of proof, no respect for juries, and no respect for due process. Her prosecutorial conduct was responsible for several cases being thrown out. She was almost disbarred twice for misconduct. She openly accused, prosecuted and convicted an innocent man of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart and when the REAL perpetrators were caught, she refused to admit she was wrong, insisted that she had every right to accuse this innocent man because "he was a known felon". Legally, she cannot make that kind of argument in a trial and get away with it. As a talking head, she can and does say everything she wants whether it's true or not. She claims that the State's case was perfect and the jurors were defective, using character assassination to 'prove' her point. This is her modus operandi and she'll never serve as a prosecutor in any court again because of it. Once she convinces herself that someone is guilty, legalities never stand in her way of trying to convict and punish that person, not even the truth, much less something as messy as 'reasonable doubt'.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Fox Mulder

      It's her way of putting her fingers in her ears and saying, "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

      July 7, 2011 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. zentango

    I would not want this woman as a friend

    July 7, 2011 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. Anony

    Most of us agree you should just go away.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. RobbieCanuck

    This bleache blonde airhead does not have to agree with the Anthony verdict, but if she has any sense of how American justice works she must accept this out come. This woman is the worst example of a former prosecutor (oops I mean peresecuter) who has no concept of the fact the success or failure of a case depends on the provable evidence.

    All she is doing is proseltizing her own point of view as opposed to engaging in journalism. She is an ignorant gas bag with a bully pulpit, whose annoying screech is like a fingernail on a chalk board. CNN – get rid of her now. Banish her permanently to where she belongs – Faux News.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
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