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. David Andrew Crosby

    Can we just pass a law that says No one from Florida can ever come to Colorado and grandfather in Nancy Grace being kept there for all time..Ya'll are a mess...

    July 7, 2011 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. Franc

    Ms Grace, you talk about Mr Mason shooting the bird. I shoot it at you everytiime I see you on TV. You are a disgrace to the Justice System. It is not your job to swing the public. Your are what give the legal system a bad name

    July 7, 2011 at 4:42 am | Report abuse |
    • JayGee

      I agree so much. Nancy Grace,being a lawyer, should know that jurors are SUPPOSED to pick based on rules and facts, not what they perceive to be fair or right.

      The jurors, in all technicality, did what they were supposed to do. I did not think Nancy is wrong for her opinion, but I definitely think she is wrong to attack law-abiding jurors who fulfilled their citizens. Please, do not attack the jurors Nancy. That is completely unfair and will cause many responsible citizens to fear ever serving on a jury for fear of the public slander you are engaging in. You are calling out their past abusive, drug-related histories... how is this not slander or libel for the jurors involved?

      July 7, 2011 at 5:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. adam

    I Think its time someone exposes all the skeletons in Nancy Graces closet!!! you are a moron Nancy you blasted this girl and many other people on your show for many years WHO THE F ARE YOU?????? ITs people like you that give americans bad names and thats coming from a Canadian. I believe a once great man said " Let he who has not commited sin Throw the first stone for all sin is equal in Gods eyes. so tell me Nancy are you such a perfect person that it gives you the right to spew your mindless babble over the air waves.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. Nancydiscrace

    I cant at how the Hollywood folks find this as a WOW!

    Nancy Grace basically... sabotash this women picking one side from the start.

    The only news reported was one sided

    She is a complete bully!

    and Idoit!

    NOT GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW!

    eat that Nancy you bleach blonde menopause Duche Bag!

    July 7, 2011 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. CC

    30 days guys....do you have children? Zenaida DID NOT EXIST so where was the little girl for 30 DAYS? Nancy Grace is on target..Perhaps an accident, who knows. We may never know until Casey Anthony decides to come clean on her death bed. 30 days...do you know where YOUR 2 YEAR OLD is? I wonder...HMMMM

    July 7, 2011 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      I don't understand your fixation on this point. It was explained in detail at the trial: Anthony was terrified of being accused of a crime, and so lied to avoid being accused of far worse than an accident. Whether you choose to believe this or not, it's an explanation made all the more likely by Grace's rabid leadership of a lynch mob, complete with torches and pitchforks, feeding exactly the sort of fears Anthony claims ruled her actions.

      How long will it be before some of the jurors receive death threats? Nice going, Nancy.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:06 am | Report abuse |
  6. GW

    It is nice to see at least some of you recognize what an ignorant, tasteless, and dangerous idiot Nancy Grace appears to be. But you might want to consider that the more dangerous people are the morons who put her ridiculous show on the air.
    The kind of vitriol that she spews would go down the toilet where it belongs if the producers of her show had any sense of common decency. Why don't you direct some of your anger towards them as well. Notice I said 'as well", not "instead of". She has a "show", she makes lots of money, and there is no connection between that and reality.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. CC

    A 2 year old....missing for 30 days. Do you think she could cook for herself ? Do you think she could wash or dress herself? FOR 30 DAYS...maybe she got a job or ran away to LA...

    July 7, 2011 at 4:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Roy flesher

      That is what happen when you go to trial without prove of who did the killing.I think george should have been lon trail with casey,I think he help hide the body.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. hazmatsuits

    Nancy Grace is seriously one of the most idiotic, deliberately dishonest "journalists" I have ever seen. We live in a country where you are innocent until proven guilty and last I checked having holes in her story and being an irresponsible mother is not "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" she killed her daughter. I personally believe Casey Anthony killed that girl but as an attorney Nancy Grace knows damn well that believing she did it isn't enough to convict a person of murder, the state did not provide nearly enough proof to convict this lady and THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS. Nancy Grace knows this but would rather blame the jury and drag this story out than just admit the evidence wasn't there, that's how little she thinks of her audience...

    July 7, 2011 at 4:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      She's not a journalist, she's a lawyer.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Liberty Spinner

      If CNN wants to improve it's public image it should dump Nancy Graceless back into the pool of lawyers and let he fling her bile out there in the real world.
      She is the Rush Limbaugh of CNN.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:21 am | Report abuse |
    • drbasic

      @pat in opinion....she is neither

      July 7, 2011 at 5:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Roy flesher

      Nancy Grace is a want to be lawer,just like a lot of the other ones on TV,She needs to talk about what she knowes,not what she would like thing to be.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:44 am | Report abuse |
    • keith

      @bob you are quite right nancy grace is one of the most revolting and dishonest people on the planet. she should be struck off for her comments or sued by the family for all the garbage she has spoken about them

      July 7, 2011 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. Interesting

    I hope Nancy does not attack the jurors for making a decision, because they are everyday people that probably dont want her wrath.

    They made a decision based on the facts presented.

    This was a glamorized case that ended up being a wet fart. Most ideas about the case have been influenced outside of actuall facts.

    The justice system will prevail, even if it's not fair. Cassie was over charged, the jury was not left with many options.

    It's very sad that little attention get's paid to people that have been falsely imprisioned.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. Rando

    Just because we have freedom of speech doesn't necessarily mean we should always use it Nancy. However since I can, I now have a new nickname for you Nancy.... "Mop Mom".

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

    What's done is done. Nothing to be gained here by debating the pros and cons until Hell freezes over. Time to move on.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dr Perry Fisher

    Nancy is a piece of toxic trash.Nancy should be waterboarded

    July 7, 2011 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. Daniel

    Nancy Grace...job well done. You have proven to be quite the leader what with torch in one hand and pitchfork in the other you led your whipped up mob to the castle gate only to find no one home.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. Reality Check

    It is past time for CNN to dump this loud mouth. CNN should be above the practice of yellow journalism, but that is all Nancy Grace is. She has sensationalized a single case for several years with one sided "reporting," tried and convicted Casey Anthony. I can not say how this poor child died, but I can say the state did not present a compelling case to 12 people that Casey Anthony murdered her. I did not sit in that jury box. Nancy Grace did not sit there.

    CNN, dump this tick-tackiness and hire real journalist who wish to make a name for themselves by reporting the news, not screaming and being the center of the story.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  15. Daniel

    Nancy Grace cries "FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS" to excuse her fire and brimstone approach. Guess what Nancy, The first amendment doesn't protect you if you yell "FIRE" in a movie theater.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:06 am | Report abuse |
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