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. Jdog604

    It is simple multiply the average IQ times the average IQ, divide3 by theaverage # of years of education and then by the age of the defendent , divide again by 20 if the defendnt is white and female , divide again by the same # for the race of the victim and you get the cahnces of conviction or acquital. In this case it iis 0, White female under 30 no one Bubba and Bubbette will convict!

    July 7, 2011 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. chaz1944

    Nancy you need to quit. Go back to the prosecution job to verify/prove your so called skills. You should start by being professional and address Casey by her name, you expose your childish nature when you fail to address the young lady by "TOTMOM". GROWUP

    July 7, 2011 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
  3. albert

    This woman is Trailer Trash. Casee Anthony should sue for defamation. This woman is now letting her arrogance and pride get in the way. She was wrong!

    July 7, 2011 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. Paa

    Damn Nancy grace is such fake. She all in for the money. TV judge.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bob Bobertson

    I'm sure she misses the courtroom. Too bad she got herself disbarred and is a complete hack. I hope other people will recall when NG here was ready to hang the Duke lacrosse boys from the highest branch, she had already decided they were guilty before the trial had started and not only were they found not guilty, but the girl who accused them just ended up going on trial herself the passed year for all sorts of problems.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. albert

    "I’m not in the business of forgiving"
    Ok, at least she admits that she is not a Christian. Christians are supposed to be forgiving.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. I Dontgetyounancy

    Why won't you give Mr. Baez any credit? He did his job and you should give him credit. His closing was excellent. Yes, this is tragic, but you are reporting on the case and if you were balanced, you would be blaming the person who went for the death penalty. Yes, people watch CSI and they won't vote to kill someone when there is no physical evidence, dna, fingerprints, etc. So as Jeff Toobin said, they overcharged. You haven't once mentioned that, just your silly ranting. And call the woman by her name, tot mom has worn thin.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Nancy Grace is AWESOME

      Baez is a sleeze bag and much like you, an idiot.

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

      Nancy Grace is Awesome: You have it backwords. Nancy Grace is the sleeze bag and you are the idiot.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bob Bobertson

    Two words for Nancy disGrace: Duke lacrosse

    July 7, 2011 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. Radar

    Nancy Grace is a blowhard whose 15 minutes of fame is long gone. CNN would be wise to send this overbearing, loudmouth packing. She must be scre*ing one of the bosses there to keep her job.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
    • bonnie

      No body could be as obnoxious as Nancy Grace, by accident. I say she is scripted [ contracted ] to act the way she does to rile people up, it sells !! I, personally, will NOT read anything associated with her, no matter how interesting the story might be.

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

      Unfortunately there are too many Jerry Springer people out there that like her and watch her. I cannot imagine that too many educated people watch her show.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. Bill

    These 24 hour news stations have become a soap box for 'reporters' like Nancy Grace, Bill O'Reilly, Ed Schultz, Rachael Maddow and all these talking heads who put their spin on every issue. Some times I have to remind my self that these are news stations and not the Jerry Spinger show. But, then I realize they are the Jerry Springer show.

    I long ago stopped watching Nancy Grace because of her vitriolic condemnation of people. She is always a one person jury
    ready to execute someone who she knows is guilty, yet does not know any more about the person she is damning than the rest of us. If you do not like her, do not watch her show.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  11. Thomas

    Pathetic; Nancy Disgrace. " put on my hip boots and gone down to Florida and looked for Caylee myself." That's good. Real good. You must be a good fisherman too. I have never watched your "show", and that's all it really is; just a reality show only with the premise of you being a wicked witch brooding over people's personal lives. You make me sick. All for the sake of money. So when you go back to your cave and carve your steak at the expense of displaying people's lives on TV for fun, money, and greed and Oh – yeah, your Histrionic disorder you have. You're sick. Get some help.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. Hunter

    I can't stand this woman.
    If she were worth a dam as a prosecutor why isn't she still working. Now she is just a talking head on the boob tube. Do us a favor and retire Nancy.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      The Supreme Court for the state of Geogia nailed her twice for prosecutorial misconduct.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lynn

    Nancy Grace wanted justice for Caylee and I'm sure everyone wants justice for that sweet soul. I can't help think though all the hours on Nancy's show during the trial could have been spent on helping to find justice for other children as well.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dave

    Grace is an idiot. I no longer watch HLN because of her. She belongs on the gong show. Remember when HLN/CNN stoood for accuarate news reporting? people like Grace have turnrd it into vaudeville. I urge you all to turn the channel when she comes on. Check out Wikepedia to see how "professional" Grace is. She was almost disbarred in Ga. for her anctics as a prosecuter.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. bonnie

    After reading ALL these posts; I must say WHY is this woman on the air or in print at all ??? No One likes her !! All along I thought it was just me that she rubbed wrong!!

    July 7, 2011 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
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