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. Boba Phett

    Nancy, you hag. Shut up. I don't know why CNN RUINED Headline News to make it "HLN"...but once you popped up I blocked the channel.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Jo Ann

      You sound intelligent enough to be on the jury.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dirk

    I've always hated Nancy Grace for her easy answers to everything and if you don't agree with her you must be wrong. She talkedabout jury selection. I've been thru the jury selection process. Usually you have only so many chances "I want that person on the jury" or "Please dismiss that person" from a limited selection of possible jurors. This goes for the prosecution ans well as the defense. Her favorite juror could be dismissed because the defense didn't like them and they wanted to use up some of there "points" or whatever its called to get rid of them.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. Nik

    Ugh, as a woman and a lawyer, she embarrasses me. It's one thing to be outspoken, but as a lawyer, where is the rationale behind her arguments? Gah!

    July 7, 2011 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bribarian

    I don't watch nancy grace, i dont even like her sensationalism when i see her, but I agree with her on this case. This casey woman walked away with murder and the jurors really screwed up. How do you overlook 30 days of the child missing and no reports? So many obvious arrows pointing to guilty.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. David B

    Like everyone else, Nancy DisGrace you are a disgusting human being who she be disbarred!!!! You slam the jury now you disgusting hack!!!! They do not want to talk and went home because they have pride, and maybe do not want media attention like most jurors seeking fame. Had this gone your way you would be praising the jury and saying they were tired bu God bless them. You are gross, disgusting, and literally make me wanna vomit!!!! Is Casey Anthony a bad woman and probably guilty? You bet, but we have no idea what happened and if you look at the LAW, again the LAW Nancy DisGrace, they followed it at they brought in the verdict that was correct according to the LAW!!! You only have a job because everyone hates your guts, and anyone who is even arrested, they deserve the death penalty! How dare you, how dare you slam a jury who worked hard for this verdict. You are miserable woman and no better than Casey Anthony, while Caylee is heaven, I hope you and Casey both go to hell! CNN should long since habe dropped you hack!!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Free2Speak

    I wonder if Nancy Grace is as sure about Casey's guilt as she was the Duke Lacrosse players. She has the right to an opinion just like every American, but you would think that the public would have lost credibility and respect of her a long time ago. This case was never proven beyond a reasonable doubt and anybody who understands the judicial system would agree. Whether it was poor prosecution or a lack of evidence, it was the correct decision by the jury. I agree that she is most likely guilty, however, our legal system is set up to ensure that we absolutely without a doubt put only guilty people in prison and we still make errors. Nancy Grace, you once again disgust me with your opinions and comments.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. David Harrison

    I'm sorry but Nancy Grace just turns my stomach. I'm going to express my first ammendment right, since she thinks it so readily only applies to her. If she thought the jury was a bad jury or wrong from the beginning why didn't she start talking about it then until waiting for the trial to end. Two simple reasons, she didn't think it then and now she has nothing to keep the ratings for her show going. She's beating a dead horse with a stick trying to get it up and going again.

    Nancy knows herself that this had to be some kind of accident that was being covered up. So what if Casey is the biggest liar on earth, whether I believer her or not, it doesn't make her a murderer. The sad part is, we'll never find out what happened to that poor little girl.

    Nancy also did an about face on the parents. When this all began she was ripping them apart and now she feels sorry for them. What is that? It's all about ratings folks. Grace could care less about anyone that this has affected. This put her in the spotlight and now she can't bow and get off the stage when the show's over.

    Just when you thought it couldn't get much less professional, Grace starts talking about her own family. Who cares? If she goes too far with this and tries to keep it rolling, Casey, the attorney's and anyone Grace is making off the cuff comments about should sue her for defamations, slander, and liabless.Then maybe she'll learn to keep her big first ammendment trap shut.

    Grace has been the ring master for this media circus. Can't she just realize that it is over and done with and now time to move on. It also sickened me that she was showing pictures of dead soldiers trying to gain sympathy from people watching. Where is her sense of compassion. There were probably friends and family of these fallen service people watching the show. All that did was reopen the wounds of losing a loved one.

    She'll find out that all her bad karma is going to someday catch up to her. If I were one of the people that she had on her show and that she was abrupt with, I would have simply said, your show sucks and I'm outta here. She literally trashed the views of some of the people she was interviewing. Some had excellent points.

    My suggestion is now for everyone to stop watching her show to get rid of her ratings and finally her.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      tl;dr

      July 7, 2011 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      As a stock holder, I'd be in favor of forcing a vote to have her removed from the air.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Kat

      Thank you! I agree 100%. Nancy Grace is not only an air-head, but her 15 minutes of fame are long gone. I hate the nasal whine in her voice. But don't worry about Nancy . . . . she'll have another case to hype and try in the Public Court within a few days. I guarantee it. She's playing this out for all she's worth this week and then she'll spend the weekend finding another trail to snark.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Kat

      Thank you! I agree 100%. Nancy Grace is not only an air-head, but her 15 minutes of fame are long gone. I hate the nasal whine in her voice. But don't worry about Nancy . . . . she'll have another case to hype and try in the Public Court within a few days. I guarantee it. She's playing this out for all she's worth this week and then she'll spend the weekend finding another trial to snark.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. Weylin

    I used to like watching Nancy Grace back in '08, but now I cant even stand her name. She is just to much of a brat. I myself disagree with what happened in court, but its too late. Double Jeopardy took place, no turning back now.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  9. Wayne Michael Reich

    While I do agree with the general consensus that Casey is the one who caused her daughter Caylee's death, I will not say that the jury got it "wrong" without first hand knowledge. (IE: actually being there in the courtroom)

    Watching edited snippets via the news or Nancy No-Grace's so called "show" does not make me or anyone for that matter, an expert on what actually went down in that courtroom- we are allowed to have our opinion yes, but unlike Nancy- our opinion is not heard by millions, and cannot sway the populace one way or the other.

    Research her "knowledge" of the Smart case to see this brainiac at work..And Nancy? We know you're a former prosecutor, mainly since you mention it every other minute.

    Relax, Faux News will eventually come a-calling on you. It's Fate. Or possibly Karma... I keep getting those two mixed up.

    Mrs. No-Grace is an infotainment Harpy, shrilling her wares- whether it is a book, her show, or her opinion, it matters not one iota if it is wrong or right, what matters to her is that her name is publicized, and she fattens her cash box..

    She should have been permanently taken off the air after the Melinda Duckett incident (Google it.) but as long as Americans keep tuning in to her brand of carrion feeding TV, we're stuck with her and the others of her ilk.

    Caylee is dead, Casey is free, and Nancy No-Grace will milk it as long as she can, until the next tragedy / family train-wreck comes along.

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

    az likes to call me and others morons yet at the same time tells us WE have NO right to question the intelligence of the jury? Double standard, hey? And for the record, the prosecution should have never gone for the death penalty...I thought that was a mistake when I heard it two years ago. I just watched juror#3's interview and I have not changed my mind about her inability to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. Laura JT

    I sure hope Nancy Grace realizes I don't have to agree with her air-headed brain as well . . . what a beatch.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. SixDegrees

    Has Nancy's head exploded yet? 'Cause I'd actually watch that.

    Not her normal show, though. She's a witch hunting stirrer of hatred. And she probably holds much of the blame for turning what ought to have been an ordinary, if sad, police investigation into a years-long ratings mine whipped and frothed for Grace's personal benefit. If we believe Anthony's claim that she was terrified to tell the police the truth, it isn't even a short walk to laying blame for that feeling squarely at Grace's feet. She stokes the fires and hands out pitchforks to the mob, and creates the climate of fear Anthony found herself in.

    If it weren't for shameful, overbearing zealots like Nancy Grace, it isn't unreasonable to think that Anthony would immediately contacted police and told them what had happened. Grace's special brand of manufactured outrage, however, both prevented that from happening, pressured the police into conducting a sloppy, rushed investigation driven more by news deadlines than facts, and rushed the prosecutor's office to trial with one of the flimsiest capital cases in memory.

    Nice going, Nancy. Please join Glen Beck in 'pursuing other options' as quickly as possible.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Jo Ann

      Yeah it's all Nancy's fault that Casey is a baby-killer! You probably believe in the Easter Bunny and Zanny the Nanny too! Put the blame on everyone but Cassie that is exactly what she wants.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. Laura JT

    I really get offended by Nancy calling Caylee a "tot" and her mother a "tot mom". What a moron.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Not a fan of Nancy grace

      I agree. And she also mispronounces the little girl's name. She drives me nuts. She doesn't belong on CNN or HLN. She much more a Fox news type.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Jo Ann

      She's not a mom anymore because she threw Caylee out like trash and that jury threw justice out like trash! Caylee is in heaven forever and she is the one that suffered by the hand of her own mother.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Kat

      That has been bugging me for months! Thank you for mentioning it. How rude - I don't care who the person is, in the media they have a right to a certain amount of respect.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jay Doyle

    Oh yes! It's now time for the Jury to cash in, or soon to come. I'm sure they'll get some kind of kick back for helping Casey down the road. Where is the justice for Kaylee?????

    July 7, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. Chuck Martin

    I gave up on Nancy Grace long ago. She overtalks her guests, believes in everyone's rights but the accused who should be executed, then tried, if she can't just proclaim them guilty and eradicated on TV.

    She could never be on a jury herself, she would be bounce in the first round of questioning for incurable bias against the accused.

    She had a non-cancerous mass removed? Must have been her brain.

    I love the early shots of her on CNN with the "air head" bubble hair do. Those should be shown more often.

    Her show isn't even worth watching.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
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