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. kazz

    Nancy. Shut up.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. Gerald

    Sorry Nancy, I would like to see you leave the CNN news room. Prosecutor Yes, Objective No... No room for that in the News or in a Jury, well unless you like the likes of Fox News... If we could have a Nancy (The prosecutor) with a whomever is chosen as a defense show, all for it... I voted Not Guilty. This was an accident in my view and a cover up, probably by the father. As I have said in other comments this family is dysfunctional, needs help and I hope the lawyers and everyone understands this. I hope No books offers are offered to anyone, a better understanding of what happened would be ideal although impossible as it would implicate. Sorry as it is... Nancy, rethink your show... Please...

    July 7, 2011 at 3:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Gerald

      I don't think that it was written into our Laws to come to the Truth, It was written to come to the hopefully "Best" truth. Especially in cases of long detention their needs to be modifications. Yeah call them Amendments if you would like... Might we call them "Real" rehabilitation... Do our prison help people to move on and contribute to society? Well the answer is No. My question is why we cannot find a way to change this? There is a way and for most it could be done, Not for all I understand... Our current Imprisonment system does not provide for getting people back on to the streets and trying to make an honest living. Yes I forgot the price it would cost to help people be better people... Dollars. Shame on U.S..

      July 7, 2011 at 4:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. alanturin

    CNN – "HLN host Nancy Grace has been credited with making the Casey Anthony case a national story."

    For her own benefit.... Nancy grace and Jane Valez are the worst creatures on TV. She will never gain respect as a TV reporter. Ever heard of "innocent until proven guilty"?

    As far as Casey is concerned, even if you did not do it, you still are a horrible person/mother... Please don't have any more children..

    If she actually did it, then it does not matter what happened in court, her conscience will torture her for the rest of her sad life...

    July 7, 2011 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
    • fayse

      I thought it was really amusing when Jane Velez Mitchell was chasing after Jose Baez for a comment after the trial. She made a fool of herself and even tried talking to Baez in Spanish. She looked like the hack she has become the same as Nancy Grace and her sour face.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. malasangre

    i hope she saved some of her phony outrage for the murdering New Orleans cops on trial right now. we know they did it. their brother police are testyfying one after the other. any bets?

    July 7, 2011 at 3:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jenn

    This jury is not 'cooky and it just goes to show the lack of respect and regard NG has for our jurors. Greta from Fox would not even go there when a guest started bashing the jury. She said she has respect for the jury and its system. Go Greta!!! Go Fox!!! Go Greta!!!! Now, these are professional people with some class.
    The people who have to uphold the law even in the face of an unpopular verdict should be respected and valued.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. Shukri

    If CNN or HLN same thing right?proclaim that they offer unbiased news and are against prejudice and hateful journalism then they should ban Nancy Grace from the airwaves. Responsible and fair journalism is what this nation needs. Not a fake blond with a fake sense of the law. The USA can do better than glorifying a prejudiced, hate mongering journalist as being one its stars.
    I am sure that the American people are not prejudiced and hate mongering people. This is a great nation so please CNN live up to your stature and give us someone that understands justice and the law in a fair Democracy.
    Or am I dreaming about the values of this great nation?

    July 7, 2011 at 3:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. danny

    Nancy Grace is a MORON!!!!

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

      No one has to agree with the verdict, in fact, I do not believe she deserved the death penalty but I know this: SOMEONE killed that little girl. For 30 days her own mother did not know "where she was?" really a two year old? May be she was at work, or doing lines of crack at a bar or even ran away to California...Really, a 2 year old+ 30 days? You do the math.
      She should have AT LEAST gotten child neglect on that one...Society will punish her enough I suppose.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:48 am | Report abuse |
    • TA

      No Danny YOU ARE A MORON

      July 7, 2011 at 5:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. Frederick

    I like how Nancy Grace contradicts herself. She claims she has the right to free speech as long as it isn't defamatory towards anyone. I'm fairly certain along the course of this case her completely opinionated and biased reporting was in EVERY way defamatory towards Casey Anthony. The fact that she said without hesitation or doubt that Casey Anthony was 100% guilty is defamatory. Also, the fact that Nancy repeatedly said that Casey Anthony murdered her daughter, NOT ALLEGED, but actually murdered her daughter, is also defamatory. She misconstrued the facts to the public and distorted the actuality of the situation so as to show defame Casey and to maliciously and intentionally attack the reputation of Casey Anthony. What Nancy Grace did was defamatory in every sense, even more so now that Casey has been acquitted. I personally would LOVE to see Casey Anthony turn around and sue Nancy Grace in federal court for defamation of character, public embarrassment, criminally negligent reporting, and whatever else she can.

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

      Would be awesome if Nancy Grace gets sued for slander.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      I second this motion, even if it was the worst person on the entire planet I wouldn't see any moral righteousness to screeching my opinions onto the national stage like this. This case is a horrible tragedy, this case is also a very complex and obfuscated situation. Calling the perpetrator by a euphemism instead of thier name and constantly insisting on the significance of your singular (and completely detached) opinion only makes her seem unprofessional and petulant. Not to mention the strange way she tries to villianize the jury simply because they didnt agree with her sensationalized sense of TV Drama justice that had no basis in actual admissable fact. Those people has to see every tiny detail that could be shown on this case and they did not take thier jobs lightly.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob Ramos

      I agree with you 100%. Let's see, the jury sat through days of testimony, had the benefit of the judge's rulings and carefully, devoid of emotion, decided the case and decided that Casey was not guilty. Basically, they decided that the prosecution had not proven Casey guilty. Nancy made her own decisions without the benefit of what the jury had. My problem is that Nancy had a national pulpit to declare Casey guilty and so state day after day. There is such a thing as free speech but Grace abuses it. I also would like to see Casey sue Grace for millions of dollars. Also, I seem to remember that a few years back, Grace so hounded a woman of killing her child that the woman committed suicide. That did not both Grace in the slightest.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Franc

      Kick her of TV, CNN would get a better rating on True TV

      July 7, 2011 at 4:53 am | Report abuse |
    • vincent tamariz

      I would send money to help her sue Nancy Grace. She used this case for her own ends. It is so obvious the use of the term "tot mom" is disgusting and really does show how she dehumanized another person into a commodity. She is the worst of the the worst. muckraking at its sleazy best.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
  9. Paul

    Why is it I get chills any time I see a former prosecutor openly suggest they have no regard for the job jurors have to do when they don't "agree" with them? Even if Casey is guilty as sin the jurors based thier decision entirely on the evidence they were (or were not) presented with. "Innocent until proven guilty" is the single most important concept in our justice system, and it disturbs me to see someone holding the reins of power to be so openly disdainful of the idea. I get the feeling Ms. Grace never even gave a second thought to how much this will affect those jurors simply for them doing the task they were asked to do in good faith. Ugh.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Franc

      The reason the Juror's voted the way they did, is because of the erogance of Ashton and the Judge. Must of the Jurors had some kind of legal issue and the showed the system how the law works with the peers

      July 7, 2011 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      It's a recurrent problem with Grace. Go read her Wikipedia entry; it's a long, unpleasant tale of misconduct, misrepresentation and outright lies orchestrated to produce the results she sought, with truth stuffed in a garbage bag in the trunk.

      She ought to be fired. And prosecuted for malicious slander and libel.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. alanturin

    CNN... PLEASE wake up and boot Nancy Grace off the air... Shaun Hannity is NOT the worst thing on national TV until you continue to broadcast Nancy Grace..

    July 7, 2011 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Peter Grenader

      I disagree with the Hannity comment (!) – but wholly agree with what you said about 'guilty until proven innocent' Grace!

      July 7, 2011 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Franc

      I agree wholy

      July 7, 2011 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. AmerFrog

    Oh but Nancy's got a beautiful ass.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Franc

      kind of BIGGGGGGGGG thats why you never see her bottom half

      July 7, 2011 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. JBC

    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.

    This is part of the problem we have in our nation. People will mention "the lord," and at the same time tell all of us that they do not forgive others – one of the lord's primary directives. It is no wonder why religion gets such a bad rap.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. No Justice for Caylee

    Nancy Grace is the best. She has been nothing but an advocate for justice for little Caylee since the beginning. She did an excellent job on the coverage of this case. She knows more about the law than any of us on this post. I am in agreement with her, the jurors were MORONS. The evidence was clear. Casey should have been found GUILTY of 1st degree. No justice for Caylee.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Maria

      I agree 100% with you.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:43 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Which evidence was that again?

      July 7, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Josey

    Nancy Grace should be fired. This is no longer journalism. It's defamation.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
  15. Peter Grenader

    I really could care less if 'guilty until proven innocent Grace' agrees or not, frankly I've had my fill of this woman for this lifetime. What happened to Casey was unthinkable, but the case which was brought to trial has been full of holes since the beginning and the one thing lacking – conclusive evidence – is why her mother, as rotten a person as she may be, was not proven guilty of murder. Sorry if that doesn't meet Nancy Grace's approval.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:32 am | Report abuse |
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