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. nana in alabama

    We don't have to agree with the verdict but we should not give Casey one more minute of our time. Remember Kaylee by not promoting her mother, don't buy her books, don't watch her movies and don't buy all the magazines. Everyone is forgetting that Kaylee is not with us any longer. Stop everyone from making money from this horrible event, even if we do it one book or magazine at a time. Casey will go before a higher judge and that is a verdict she will not be able to lie her way out.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. AnonObserver

    Nancy Grace is not clueless or incompetent, just arrogant and self-righteous. Personally she can say and believe whatever she wants; as a media spokeswoman she needs to adhere to higher standards - or be recognized as a buffoon.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. Aldo Baldo

    Nancy Grace is the mean girl in elementary school who waited outside the boy's bathroom to kick them between the legs as they came out...........and she's paid very handsomely to be hated. I suppose everyone loves a vicious, self righteous and angry shrew................as long as she doesn't get too close.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. bduares

    "Tot mom murdered her daughter"

    Lookie there. Libel in B&W on a national scale.

    The defendant was found not guilty. Therefore in the eyes, ears and legal status of the court the defendant did not murder her daughter. You continue, in national televised and internet media continue to harass, libel and slander the defendant. Sensationalism may bring ina few ratings, but then so do libel and slander lawsuits on this scale

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

      Casey didn't do it it was either the tooth fairy of the fake Nanny!

      July 7, 2011 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. Chuck Martin

    Grace doesn't have to agree with the Jury or anyone else in their right mind. That is her right. But then we don't have to watch her "show". That is our right. When she first came on the show she was investigative and informative. Now she is just a talk show hack, executing the accused on TV. What ever happened to the law suit against her for driving some one to suicide? (And then I think she was gloating and proud of her "TV Justice".

    July 7, 2011 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. SixDegrees

    Wow. Grace's Wikipedia entry is thorough, even-handed...and incredibly damning. The woman belongs either in jail or in a psych ward. Possibly both.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Kat

      Who - Nancy Grace? I agree!

      July 7, 2011 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. Name*dan

    Actually, I'm pretty sure God wants us to forgive as well. And not judge people..

    July 7, 2011 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      I agree that Nancy will probably wind up burning for all eternity.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mark

    Nancy Grace is menace. She was never involved in the case in any way. She didn't conduct the investigation, examine any "evidence," interview any of the witnesses. or actually attend the trial. What she did was take the popular position. In any heinous crime, the death of a child being the worst possible scenario, the natural tendency is to feel someone must pay. The most convenient target is most often the prime suspect, often a parent or parents in the death of a child. After all, they have the most opportunity and often the motive. However, appearances are often deceiving. There was a case here recently where a 4 year old girl was found murdered and her father was convicted and sent to prison despite flimsy evidence he was guilty. Later additional evidence proved his innocence. Almost everyone was ready to accept the jury's decision which convicted an innocent man. Nancy Grace knows nothing of the intimate details of this case. She is a former prosecutor so whose side is she naturally going to take. And don't forget, its her job to create controversy to bolster ratings. The fact is she has no more idea of what happened than any of us. But she gets paid to be controversial so, as usual, she sticks her head up her ass, ignores the facts, and maintains the controversial position. IF Casey Anthony is guilty, then Grace is still wrong because she said the prosecutor handled the case well. However, if Casey did murder her daughter, sher got off because the prosecutor didn't do a good job. Either way, nancy Grace is wrong. But we should be used to that by now. She got her head stuck up her ass a long time ago and hasn't managed to dislodge it yet.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      Completely agree. It's a shame, in the interview above, that CNN never raises questions about her courtroom misconduct and other "misrepresentations of truth" – that is, lies – she's built her career on, or about the lives she's ruined and even ended as a result of her witch hunts.

      She needs to be booted off the air. Maybe this will be the lever that makes it happen.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Agreed wholeheartedly. Nancy Grace isn't a journalist, she's a talking head that has repeatedly accused people later exonerated of some very horrendous crimes. She rarely admits being wrong, despite having been wrong on at least two major occasions. Why this woman is still on the air is a mystery to me.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Out of curiousity Mark, have you seen a lot of cases where a mother makes up stories about her only child that she clearly knew was dead, dumps the body in a field, demonizes her father and has her mother lie for her on the stand who didn't murder their child? Okay, the family is one kind of screwed up but a swimmng pool accident .. please! Who didn't get justice was the poor little girl. Or is she just a footnote?

      July 7, 2011 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      Actually, it is fairly common for parents to delay reporting a child's accidental death, for exactly the reasons stated by Anthony: fear of excessive retribution or accusations of wrongdoing. Bottom-feeders like Grace only make this worse by creating an atmosphere of retribution and presumed guilt without benefit of actual facts.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. Nick

    I'm not sure why anyone would care to hear what spews out of this vile woman's mouth anyway.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
    • JakeC

      I understand that her CORE AUDIENCE or rather her DEVOTED LOONS are relatively under or uneducated, conservative trailer trash who would quickly replace their OWN diety with Nancy as their new Messiah.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kelly Mac

    Did anybody ever think that maybe Nancy Grace doesn't know anything about anything? She set every CNN watchers mind that Casey Anthony was guilty when in actuality Grace doesn't know anything. She probably wouldn't even get into Law School now days. It's not 1986 anymore Nancy. Get an education idiot.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. SixDegrees

    "Yeah it's all Nancy's fault that Casey is a baby-killer! "

    Actually, she isn't. She's been explicitly, unanimously declared not guilty of that crime by a jury. And – despite what Nancy Grace thinks – her innocence was presumed before she ever walked into the court room, at least by most of our legal system, if not by the media.

    Go read Precious Nancy's Wikipedia page. It is not at all pleasant or redeeming.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. Kelly Mac

    Hey Didgusted! Not guilty!!! Tard.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Disgusted

      Thats mature! Anyone that has an opinion different than your own is a retard. You should never call anyone that! I understand that the jury found her "not guilty" but I heard all the evidence and no baby drowns in a pool with tape accross its face. I am a mother, and no mother that loves her child would react to the death of her baby the way Casey
      did!

      July 7, 2011 at 4:13 am | Report abuse |
  13. F'real?

    Nancy Grace is the Glenn Beck of CNN.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      EXACTLY. Perfect couple to be in hell.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jim

    CNN as long as they keep this woman is no longer a neutral news provider, CNN get rid of her

    July 7, 2011 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kelly Mac

    Don't watch her show!

    July 7, 2011 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
    • fayse

      I don't, I tuned her out a couple of years ago, and I have complained on the CNN feedback website.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
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