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. dogger

    Nancy Grace is an arrogant moron. She is stupid. She could not care less about the facts. She just wants to spout her nonsense. I cannot believe she made it through law school.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. mkeck

    People who post on here are so ignorant. You watch and listen to the news and peoples opinions. So quick to spit out your own opinions that do not mean crap. Everyone of you who say that the jury failed have no clue or better no understanding of what a jurors job is. They cannot take their own ideas of what may or may not have happened to reach a conclusion. They must take only the facts and what has been presented to them, not what we see and hear in the news, to reach a decision on whether that person is guilty or only then have they failed our country. I commend and praise these jurors for their heroic work. You cannot convict someone on conclusions. You must have facts, the evidence must be there. It is better that 1000 murderers go free than one innocent person be convicted of a crime they did not commit. While most of us probably believe she was guilty, the evidence (and I mean the actual physical evidence) was not there to convict this person. You are ignorant and uneducated to say it was. I, personally, want to thank these jurors for doing their job correctly even if the outcome was not what we as a nation hoped for. And for those who disagree, take a step back and understand that you don't know everything and most likely you just are that type of person who wants to disagree for the sake of arguing.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
    • barbara brown

      finally someone who understands our judicial system. I personally believe she did it from what I have seen on tv...however if you are under jury orders the evidence is all you can go by...I can at least rest knowing that 12 people in this country did what our judicial system was designed to have happen.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
    • mkeck

      Also, I do admit that there are grammatical errors in what I had just typed. This is from a phone and is very difficult to proofread and correct. I am a college graduate and know how to structure a sentence and admit I see spelling and grammar errors in what I just typed. I survived a haboob last night.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. Fried Spinach

    Right, Nancy. It's all about you.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. EndMathAbuseNow

    I lost any respect for Nancy when her blog featured a piece on a boy who was burned with alcohol by his peers. The piece talked about the "good old days" when kids used their fists to settle disputes.
    Can one get worse than this?

    July 7, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. Carla

    DRAMA QUEEN NANCY NEVER HAD CANCER. SHE HAD A NON-CANCEROUS MASS REMOVED.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
    • pronced

      Carla...Anger management.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • totmomtotmomtotmom24/7

      shame

      July 10, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MSK 4NYHI

    Nancy Grace quantifies and 'perfects' the concept of idiocy. She was horrible as a prosecutor, and operates on all the hormonal stereotypes of the ding bat woman who makes decisions on emotion, instead of reason. In her attempt to media influence the outcome of the case, her actions had the opposite result. Women lawyers are and should be ashamed at such an ignorant rabble rousing idiot. She is on the air, solely because she generates reaction, and thats good for CNN's bottom line. However, most of the reaction (even when her position is sympathetic), is to hate/dislike or detest Nancy Grace. The person we love to hate. Your on the bully pulpit. Stop pretending to be a lawyer; you are a scab scratching pin headed dope, but you are likely better at this then you were at putting criminals away. Maybe that's something to be greatful, that you are no longer free criminals due to your legal missteps as a prosecutor.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Justice for caley

      First of all Nancy has never lost a case. Second, Quit blaming an advocate for caley. third go sugn up on
      face book for Justice for caley. To make a new law for federal offense for not reporting her or a future missing children
      within so many days or hours it should be. Leave an angel a note. The little baby is all that matters.
      FACT JURY REJECTED THE EVIDENCE!

      July 7, 2011 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
    • MSK 4NYHI

      Justice, you are clueless. "Wanting" something, doesn't make it exist from the emotional context of the desire. Fact: Corner could not say cause of death; corner could not say time of death. That equals reasonable doubt. Your passion for Caylee should be commended. The problem is, when it comes as the sacrifice of justice, this presents some other real problems. While you "may" like Nancy "Clueless" for championing your emotional beliefs, she should be held to a higher standard. As both a journalist and a lawyer, she should cage her emotional rage and focus on the evidence. I know this post will have no affect on your blather, as you seek to justify your belief system. Look up Nancy "Clueless" and see what a stellar prosecutor she was. She sucked pretty bad, and thats why she segwayed to a camera. But as Forrest Gump said, " Stupid is as stupid does," and thats the essence of your troll love. But everyone needs to love someone, so good luck.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. Sheila

    Nancy Grace (and the other clueless media talking heads) are not the puppet masters they think they are. The state's case was weaker than a house of cards and Jose Baez and his legal team exposed it for the fraud it was. There will be no mob rule chasing Casey Anthony down with torches over the rantings of this self righteous moron.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
    • fayse

      Nancy Grace will end up losing her job just like Jenny Jones. I can't wait for her show to be canceled. From most of the comments here, Nancy is hated almost as much as Casey Anthony.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. windrider2

    Yeah yeah, Nancy, the jury is entirely to blame, blah blah blah. No you don't have to agree with the verdict, but you have no choice but to accept it as a done deal. Your opinion doesn't count in a court of law; the jury's decision is ALL that matters in this case, not what you think, not what you believe, not what you say, not what you conclude. You are not the center of the legal universe in this case and that's what REALLY bugs you, isn't it? And of course you can probably parlay your anger and rage and accusations into several more months of attacks that will make you and CNN a few more million dollars. Your motive is money and power and attention, nothing more important than that.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. scott

    nancy gracy is a moron......plain n simple. give it up, lady. a jury, found her innocent. not just any jury, a jury from the 2nd most blood thirsty conservative state, after texas. so shut up. hey nancy, dont go away mad, just go away. take greta van soustren with you, too, please!!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. ld

    PLEASE STOP COMPARING THIS TO THE OJ TRIAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this was a child....funny how we work so hard on abortion laws and yet let evidence slip through the system in actual cases!

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

      There WAS no evidence dope!

      July 7, 2011 at 3:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. Rich

    What a bunch of idiots in the jury and posting here defending that baby killer! Those jurors were hand picked sub humans with low IQ's who couldn't grasp the law. I hope they never sleep at night again. The jurors and you bunch of bleeding heart jerks who agree with them, should come into contact with your own personal OJs, Caseys and Jorans. I wonder if you would be as ignorant and forgiving to someone who commits a criminal act against you or your family members.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. wasonajury

    I served on jury for a week and let me say, I was appalled by some of the fellow jurors. One juror during deliberation was adamant that the defendant was not guilty. We were going around in a circle and when we went over with her the statements made by the witnesses and injured party, she asked us when during the trial was that information stated! We all had it in our notes. Needless to say we were incredulous knowing that this person spent a week not listening to facts and undisputed testimony! When it was pointed out, she started whining that she felt everyone else was making her feel inferior. Another juror wanted to deliberate a few more hours after we came to a verdict because he wanted to get a free lunch! Nancy called it right. It boils down to members in the jury.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. avenger2616

    I remember when HLN was an actual NEWS network-remember "Around the world in 30 minutes"? This has bothered me for quite some time, seeing "news" stories that are weeks old or longer as bumpers for promos for opinion shows disguised as news. This case has pretty well sealed HLN's credibility gap in my mind...

    July 7, 2011 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
    • fayse

      HLN has become the tabloid cable network. Look what has happened to Rupert Murdock's London tabloid rag. I hope that is an indication that his empire is about to collapse. Careful HLN, You trying to compete with Fox and most of us know what a skummy network is.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Raj

    Nancy grace is the reason i stopped listening/watching CNN. In my mind, CNN lost all credibility after encouraging this sick public prejudgement of casee anthony.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. Joe in Seattle

    Nancy Grace's fame has been made cheaply exploiting murder victims for the sake of ratings. She'd be doing society a much bigger favor if she were back in the courtroom prosecuting criminals.

    But, of course, screeching, "Guilty, Guilty, Guilty" on TV makes more money for her than actually making a difference.

    We'll see you at the next "attractive white lady involved in a crime" story, Nancy.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98