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. Demos

    Nancy, you're making a fool of yourself.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ed Sr

    Nancy Grace..............of course you do not have to agree with the jury.......just as NOBODY I personally know agrees with your news commentating. You are correct in saying you are a PAST prosecutor.................the key word is PAST............your opinions do not hold much water.....had you been a successful prosecutor you would still be in that position and perhaps even a Governor.........who knows? We know ONE thing...............you are a windbag and that is for certain.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. gracelies

    nancy grace makes her millions of of persecuting the most defenseless people on earth, she complains that juries want "csi" stuff like what? like actual evidence!? yea that would be helpful when the state wants to kill someone based on a made up fairy tale. casey anthony needs to sue her for slander and she would win

    July 6, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jess

      Pretty doubtful that she would win...
      although you never know, she was able to murder her daughter and get away with it.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. estelle79

    Nancy Grace is not a reporter; she's an editorialist. She determined guilt three years ago, and no matter how 'special' she might think she is, she wasn't privy to all the evidence in the case. She's far too invested in Casey's guilt to objectively respond to any criticism now.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. nemo

    Nancy grace is a helmet head. Leader of the lynch mob...glad she holds no real power...people like her walk on crooked legs!!!

    July 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Alyssa Murphy

    Nancy speaks for the rest of us who feel sick over justice not being served... Thank you, Nancy for using your platform to speak about logic and ethos–things that belong in a courtroom and within deliberation.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      She doesn't speak for me.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • REG

      I agree with u 100%!!!

      July 6, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • REG

      She might not speak for u but she was speaking for the little angel that was killed by her mother the one person that's supposed to love her!

      July 6, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gail Ellliott

      If you say that George Anthony is the killer, you are right. Justice wasn't served. Hopefully, someone will wake up and realize who the real killer is.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rose

      Having a belief about something isn't logical its emotional.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tom

    Nancy Grace would rather let 100 innocent people go to jail mistakenly than let 1 guilty person go through. It is the system, live with it. Maybe Nancy should be prosecuted for causing that lady to kill herself after verbally abusing her on the air. Let's see how she likes it when the shoe is on the other foot.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Your a joke like all of those jurors who felt they couldn't apply common sense when making their decision.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinkingman

      Mike,

      Nifong?

      July 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Justin Bieber's Colon

    Grace is an idiot. 300 years ago she would be leading witch trials.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed Sr

      No Justin.......no......300 years ago she would have been TRIED as a witch!

      July 6, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      300 years ago, she would have been a witch!

      Anyone else noticed this under the input box: "CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion". Pity it doesn't apply to their "talent"!

      July 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kim

    I am certain of one thing, if your child or family member was in harms way Nancy Grace is the person you would want involved. Outspoken,
    yes, judgmental maybe. But at least she stands true to her convictions and is not afraid to state her opinion. There would be alot less murders of innocent children if people were not to afraid to speak up until after the fact. I love the way people will bash Nancy for stating her opinion yet these same morons stand in judgement of her. HYPOCRITES!!!!!! If Caylee Anthony's death was an accident why was tape over her nose and mouth? If she drowned then she was dead, no need to tape her up.Who was the last person with her? Her mother Casey Anthony!!!!!!!!

    July 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      I was the last person to see one of my friends alive. They found him in a ditch. Glad they didn't prosecute me after they determined he fell asleep at the wheel and ran off the road. But if I didn't tell you that detail you would have ASSUMED.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tia

      If anyone in my family was in harms way, Nancy Grace's yammering mouth is the last thing that I would want. She turns everything into a circus and she's the main clown. But if you feel a circus act would help your loved ones, feel free to call her.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed Sr

      You should have been a cop or a lawyer................but you are not.................you are more Nancy Graces G string...........hanging on to her skirt in hero worship............you are a prune who has wrinkled all too quickly...........you are UNIMPORTANT to other people.......I am sure that bothers you and that is why you write what you write.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tia

    Who cares if Nancy Grace agrees? Those that can do, those that can't host television trash...err, talk shows.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joe Bolten

    Get this POS off the air!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    July 6, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. schmez

    CNN should seriously question the continued employment of Nancy Grace, who has continuously acted as judge, jury, executioner and network deity over all that is tabloid jurisprudence. The final straw for me was her borderline vicious attack on the jury and some of its members that she feels clouded her way of thinking. I was equally as shocked over the verdicts, but have come to accept the decision and go on, as we all must. To quote Depeche Mode: "...I don't want to start any blasphemous rumors, but I think that God's got a sick sense of humor, and when I die, I expect to find him laughing. . ."

    July 6, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. PaulaRoz

    No, you don't have to agree, Ms. dis-Grace; but you could disagree civilly.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed Sr

      OK Paula.....................I can do that.................Nancy Grace you are a civil and disorderly pain in the rump! How is that Paula?

      July 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. damn yank

    i would love to see Nancy DisGrace lose her job over this.....poetic justice...

    July 6, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mikeh

    Casey Anthony is gonna be a multi millionaire and who can she thank? Nancy Grace. I hope she sends her a card. Its Nancy Grace who blasts these people every day and when they get off they cash in.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
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