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. Paco

    I saw the neighbors dog taking a Nancy Grace on the front lawn.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Marie

    What about the evidence that was lost because of Casey not telling the truth. She is sly like a fox. She knew what she was doing and it paid off. Because of lack of evidence that might have been there before the hurrican hit Florida, Casey is free!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. Larry Merrill

    Human Nature. That's is the reason. The jury didn't have a chance. They had to make the decision to let Casey live or die, and no one nobody wants blood on their hands. Went they were asked before jury selection if they could convict they lied as all humans do. They didn't mean to but they couldn't help believe that they could sentenence her to death. As soon as they heard the jury instruction that they must be 100% sure beyond any reasonable doubt, that gave them what they needed. Throw out all common sense, forget all logic and say gee if I didn't see it happen then maybe it didn't. Not Guilty. I am sure they didn't in thieir hearts feel that way but it was an out. No blood on their hands. They playing field was fair but the rules of the court is not. Human Nature won out on this. If you were on the jury you would have done the same. Think about it.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bettie

    I like to eat my own doo doo.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff

    Nangy Grace is a self righteous ass

    July 7, 2011 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. harmon H

    Take your Tent Pole Down Your Circus has left town,, and Side Show

    July 7, 2011 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. stevie68a

    Nancy Grace is common sense personified. How can Casey not report her child missing for almost a month? My own
    theory is that Casey used a drug on the child, left her in the car, for a kind of babysitting. Manslaughter.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      Nancy Grace is a disgusting human being. Lower than Casey Anthony she feeds on peoples misery and acts like she cares.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • GBush

      Nancy Grace is a blow hard loud mouthed idiot
      First Amendment.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Time Served

      The child wasn't missing for 31 days, the child was dead.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      Everybody's an expert on how this case should've turned out, even though they did NOT sit in the courtroom through every day of the trial, listened to every word said, and looked into the faces of every witness. As a former prosecutor, Nancy Grace has a moral obligation to at least mention that anyone who has done what the jury had to do is less qualified to criticize the jury's decision. Wait a minute! That would include Nancy Grace!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • LOBO

      Like Nancy or not, she is absolutely correct. I don't care for her myself. But what she says is very true.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • LAG

      American is made up of lots of different kinds of people. Some are decent, some aren't. Nancy Grace falls into the latter. I would say that, as a lawyer/prosecutor she should have a better understanding of the justice system. Is it possible that she was KICKED out of her job as prosecutor because she's incompetent?

      July 7, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. Nick Shears

    I would just like to say I love your show. You have a good way to create emotion in your fans but you sure do not know anything of what your discussing. Maybe you should RESEARCH your discissions because you are the kind of person who gives America a bad name...And by the way Florida did a terrible job prosecuting Casey Anthony. Maybe they should have made a story up and went with it like Casey did. Sloppy as a pig stie...nice job Florida...and nice job

    July 7, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. S.M.

    Nancy,

    You go girl!

    Freedom of speech ... it's ok. Just look at the mouth on Baez and the lies he spewed .... character assassination. Nice touch from Mason, too, with the finger in the air. Very professional. It's not over for Casey. The grief she brought upon her family ... what goes around comes around.

    Yay for Nancy. I'll buy your book.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • tammy

      I have no money but would love a free copy of the book so I could use it to WIPE MY ASS!!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. marilyn

    Casey went from her parents who were enablers to the jury who were also enablers, Now she will never learn
    that is it is naughty to kill your baby.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      I agree, and now she talks about having more children! Adopting from Ireland??? Wow! She needs some serious therapy right along with the Jury! Just because they could not prove how she died, does not mean she should go free after carrying her decomposing body around for days, then dumping her in the swamp! That alone should be considered child abuse, not to mention accidental drowning is obvious niglect!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. Nancy Grace

    You want a piece of me?!?!? I will Casey Anthony you up and down this webpage until you wish you were dead! I've done it before and I reserve the right to do it again! I will exploit every dirty little secret you have, no matter if it is true or not! With CNN as my witness you will not survive the night! So come on Kungpow, Come on Andrew and Paco don't you dare let my name cross your mexican and chinese lips again!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Durundal

      ahahaha that was awesome

      July 7, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. Peter Murdoch

    She attacks the jurors but I am sure she would be barred from any jury given her track record of plagerism – proclaiming people guilty WHEN THEY WERE INNOCENT – never admitting she made a mistake – lieing about the death of her fiance – and 2 counts of prosecuterial misconduct. But she attacks the people on the jury what if a juror had had her track record!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. J.C. Whitehead

    None of Caylee's family stood up for her. Many stranger's did love her and thought justice was at hand, but the devil
    picked this jury and dumped them out of a turnip truck in front of the courthouse.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  14. geen

    listening to Two-Tot Mom brings to mind the wisdom of Will Rogers, and lends credibility to what Cheney Mason said after the trial..."The ignorant should never speak of what they don't know!" shut the hell up TTM

    July 7, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  15. Peter Murdoch

    The horrible thing about Nancy Grace is she should be explaining the law i.e. why the prosecutors got it wrong – why they should not have gone for capital murder in this case – why they jury made the right decision etc instead she incites hate not based on the law but on her "feelings" someone is guilty. Or it's ok to give someone the death penalty because they were a bad mom and liar. Nancy Grace is a horrible example of teaching people about the law and instead undermines the system.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Idiot with an internet connection

      That is with out a doubt the best way to describe her particular brand of b.s. the flows from her demonic mouth.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
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