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. jmac

    Armchair quarterback. Those who can , do. Those who can't, talk cr ap about those who can...

    July 7, 2011 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. thisis

    Its sad to see a former prosecuter be so blinded by emotion that she fails to see that the prosecution didn't PROVE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that the girl murdered her daughter. Thats all that matters her. We have enough over zealous prosecutors (I'm sure Nancy Grace was one of them) sending people to jail with no evidence. Isn't that why we have so many sad cases of people sitting in jail for over 20yrs only to be found to be innocent years later. If you want to be a lawyer DO YOUR JOB correctly. AND stand by the law you've sworn to uphold. – BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT!

    Nancy Grace = TOP LAWYER – very disturbing!

    July 7, 2011 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. thisis

    Nancy Grace = TOP LAWYER . I'm glad she's not prosecuting people anymore

    July 7, 2011 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. DeeDee

    I am frustrated listening to this one juror who is making her interview rounds about this case. The original interview she gave was contradictory. She indicated there was not enough evidence to convict and follows that with how clear it was that the child was neglected/abused – what about the child abuse charge? This jury was lazy. It appears they just wanted to get home and did not take their civic duty seriously. A recent article indicated they did not review any of the transcripts or the evidence. Instead of making a stand and debating the issue they took the easiest way out to get home faster.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Mellew

      I think you are wrong and no one has the right to judge this jury. Whether you like their verdict or not, you never walked in their shoes!

      July 7, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. sidney015

    Who cares what Nancy Grace thinks? Why is this news? Why is she even on TV still – she has nothing to contribute.
    What a joke!

    July 7, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mellew

    Most people are so bored with Nancy Grace's harangue for the last several years on this case that they would have voted the woman innocent just to shut Grace up. (But obviously there is no shutting her up) She promotes herself as judge and jury on every case she discusses and demeans or refuses to listen to anyone who dissagrees with her. She has become very shrill and almost as creepy as Elliot Spitzer.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. Darth Tater

    Nancy Grace is a smelly SHYTBAG.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • rjacobsen

      CNN should fire Grace, she should never have been on CNN i for one am dispointed in CNN for allowing such to go on but...going back to the young lady in Florida Grace hounded so long and loud the young lady took her own life. This CNN kept out of court settleign the case for $200,000.00 wonder why CNN wanted to keep this out of court? CNN needs to either fire Grace or muzzle her stupid mouth. One knows she can not practice law in GA. Her Lic. to practice pulled?

      July 7, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. ATPMSD

    Grace of all people should know why we want Jurors who know little to nothing about a case, so they can look at the evidence without bias. Grace and others in the media convicted Anthony based on limited evidence and held such a strong bias that anything less that guilty on all counts would be unacceptable. I find her guilty of tampering with the legal system – for her own gains!

    July 7, 2011 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. Barnaby Jones

    All you sore losers are more upset about being wrong. You people never cared about this kid that was killed. Bottom line is the PERsecution didnt prove their case. HA HA HA!!

    July 7, 2011 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  10. Casey Anthony should sue the State of Florida and her Persecutors.

    When Nancy Grace dies she will go strait to hell to be with Princess Diana and The Kennedy clan.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • bottoneyes

      I'm sure they'll be saving a spot for you.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. BORG

    Human rules do not go with natural ones. If a Lyon eat or kill the poppets from a lioness, do others have the right to kill him too? I don't think so!! Human rules are often build from wrong grounds, for sure not perfect. No one else then mother,has the natural right to decide, in any way, about theirs children.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. Frank

    Grace, you conducted your own trial on CNN where you were not bound by the rule of law and could run your mouth at will. You are no longer a prosecutor and certainly not a journalist, just an entertainer. Now you are having a tantrum because the verdict didn’t go your way. You and the rest of the news “entertainment industry” had no impact on this jury. Our justice system cannot and should not be swayed by the likes of you.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. val

    nancy grace i appreciate your show and your work. i cant believe the not guilty verdict, what happend to the jurors? did they fall asleep they should be ashamed of themselves. it was up to them to link the peices together and look at the evidence they did have .....how is not reporting your child missing not child abuse? can you tell me that? what is a matter with poeple? she is a toddler how is that not child neglect? i hope the pictures haunt them and they here her cries, forever. furthermore how come the state cant appeal? and how come people say the u.s has the best judicicial system , you dont? you need to abolish the double jepordy??? you could try her again if that law didnt exist she may talk about it now and or new evidence could be found and you cant do nothing that is awful. no one is caring about the innocent kids who made up that law. i can hear her screams for help when her mommy chloroformed her face and let her stop breathing!!!!!!! yeah she will have a beautiful life let her out free, to her parents so they can all step on the mother some more and let poor casey stomp her feet and run their lives and blame them for more things. she will never be able to get away from what she did. the heart sticker should have said it all jurors??? when the mommy holds the key to the car and the items from the home are found at the crime scene you kind of have to link the dots to a- b- c- and to the prosecutors ... follow the scott peterson case and draw the scene out for people .... she didnt want her baby she was busy partying she wanted a life, she wanted to be set free!! that was motive... she was not working where she said if at all, she was depending on parents, she is susan smith. she wanted a different life. she is scott? she hated her parents and had no stable lifestyle, she is the only person who had access to her child. i believe she did something at the home or outside the home maybe hoped her parents would find her in the backyard and them moved her after, to her car drove around for awhile and when that car was found was when she was buried like garbage near her home in her favourite childhood park. she then panicked and hid for a while .... and well partied. what happend to a polygraph.... anyways sad day very sad day. states should be ashamed today. and justice system is not working. for the victim or the children, speak up people and do something so this never happens again

    July 7, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. PammyJ

    I think Casey is guilty but if I had been on that jury I would not have found her guilty either. The evidence was not there to do so.Yes Casey walks free but she has to face our Dear Lord. I hope the whole family straightens up and will let God come into there lives. RIP Caylee you will never be forgotten.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Lynn Richart

      where is the justice for caylee. nancy is right. only in america can you kill your child ..and get away with it..then profit from it. Wow...lets celebrate our wonderful crimal justice system. .............judge was an idiot..............casy is guilty,,,,she must live with that and caylle IS safe from her mother now, very sad.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. BORG

    Human rules do not go with natural ones. If a Lyon eat or kill the poppets from a lioness, do others have the right to kill him too? I don't think so!! Human rules are often build from wrong grounds, for sure not perfect. No one else then mothers,has the natural right to decide, in any way, about theirs children.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
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