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. James

    People have been convicted and sentenced to death on less evidence (Scott Peterson) and sometimes even WITHOUT A BODY! I would have loved to have Casey innocent–not believe a mother could do that to her child–but there is enough evidence to find her guilty.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. david

    Many times the police arrest crime victims and the prosecutor refuses to believe it and prosecutes the innoncent person. I know I was one of those innocemt persons prosecuted and wrongfully convicted. The prosecutor wasn't there to witness the crime so who is she to say what happened?

    July 7, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Casey Anthony will write a book and become a millionaire

    Casey will hopefully be released today. She has suffered enough. She will hopefully sue the PERsecution.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. bbm

    "Grace" in her name is an irony!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. Spaceman

    she is one angry looking lady

    July 7, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. S.M.

    My opinion. Fair is Foul.

    IN FLORIDA, in the case of Casey Anthony, credit or blame goes to Judge Belvin Perry for the verdict of NOT GUILTY of the murder of Caylee Anthony, her toddler daughter.

    Three reasons for this are:

    (1) It was Judge Belvin Perry who selected the venue from which the jurors were selected. He had full control and was the one who made certain the jurors that would sit on this case came from a community that would be sympathetic to the kind of lifestyle Casey Anthony favoured: late nights, overnights, tattoos, partying, sleeping around, stealing, disrespecting her parents and lying.
    (2) It was Judge Belvin Perry who refused the prosecution’s attempts to exclude certain potential, unsuitable jurors from the panel, suggesting racial bias on the part of the prosecution.
    (3) It was Judge Belvin Perry who behaved unprofessionally and showed preferential bias toward the defence on countless occasions during the multiple sidebar discussions demonstrating a lack of decorum by joking, giggling, laughing and hee-hawing with the defence attorneys like good buddies having a beer together while in open court and before the jury.

    If the verdict was not enough of a miscarriage of justice to digest, the turncoat media added insult to injury by becoming defenders of the faith. It was painful to watch the talking heads squirm into new suits. All those media spinners who spent the last 3 years acknowledging the case against Casey Anthony was to be tried and true, that the manner of death was homicide and that Casey Anthony was guilty, jumped ship, like rats running from a burning vessel. Now they climbed on board another train, praising Jose Baez, one whom they had recently nullified as a human being, as a great lawyer, and devising excuses why the defence was just and justified and declaring how they always said the jury is the arbiter of the case and other self-serving pronouncements.

    Ms. Anthony avoided the death penalty. But the penalty was another story, apart from guilt. What goes around comes around. The justice system can temporarily wipe their hands of her, but Justice will prevail. Foul.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • kathy

      You are so right!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry Merrill

      The Judge did his job in the court. He is there to make sure the rules are followed to the law. His hands are basiclly tied. If he sways in his rulings he can lose on appeal. It's the rules of law that need ajusting. Even the U.S. Supreme court realizes that they cannot get a 100% vote from their own. That's why they allow majority rule. They are the ones to make they adjustments necessary or it WILL happen again and again. Start from the top down.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Doodee Rustler

      The PERSECUTION got their aces handed to them and have no one to blame butt themselves. LMAO!! HA HA HA. I love seeing these persecutors take it up the ass!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • KL

      Hey s.m. maybe your rant would be credible if you could spell the word defense!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. JoJo

    Noone knows the truth about what happened to Caylee, except Nancy Grace, of course. A parasite on television. Bored housewife tabloid crapola. You people should be ashamed for supporting such trash, but sheep will be sheep. Stay glued to your television, it's where you belong.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Magda

      right? Nancy is CRAZY. As a "former" prosecuter (she certainly sees nothing wrong with continuing to prosecute from the TV), she ought to respect that the JURY made a decision and some of the jurors have already STATED why (so why Nancy is still saying "I would ask them why they did what they did. I’d like to know why," i'm not sure, other than to fuel her own distorted nutso-ness .

      I'm not saying I agree with the verdict, but saying, I’m trying to apply logic to people who were illogical in their jury deliberations, "is reprehensible. She apparently thinks that "Jury of 12 peers" means "lynch mob". Her statements are absolutely disrespectful and disgusting. Who imagines that the jurors felt good about letting Casey go on those three charges?

      July 7, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joe BS

    Nancy Grace – Friends Im here with you tonight to persecute everyone possible, they gave me my own TV show so I am judge jury and executioner friends (tears roll up in her eyes) Friends this is serious (evil glare into camera), friends this poor (woman, man, child) (cue more tears) was at the fate of this (evil, wretched, guilty) person (Angry face)... Gimme a break this lady seriously needs to go have a few drinks or something shes rolled up tighter then a wet towel.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. kehinde oluremi sunday

    In the best interest of nature,I believe one day the true story and role played by casey and caylee that amount to this gross misfortune will unfold itself,its just a function of time.
    In the interest of the justice system,we should all respect the jury's decisions,as a matter of fact before any one needs to be convicted someone should explain the real cause of caylee's death and lets take it up from there.
    For Nancy,we cannot always have it our way all the time as we are not part of the jury,they know why their decision is right,you cannot work on public opinion to determine who is right or wrong rather you would be unfair to a particular party in the matter.
    It started well and all end well but the truth to me remains in the air,waiting to be unravelled.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kevin B

    Dear CNN, please tally up all the comments for and against Nancy Grace. If 75% or more of the comments here criticize her work at CNN then please fire her.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Weezy

      The sooner the better.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. RJ

    God lets thousands of babies die every day and we worship Him. I don't get this double standard.

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

      i totally agree

      July 7, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. Eaton Butts

    The FL prosecution behaved in a typical fashion. Prosecutors get paid on number of convictions and NOT number of correct convictions. They attempted to play on emotion and it backfired BIG TIME!

    HA HA HA!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kevin B

    Come on CNN, most people hate Nancy Grace. Please, fire her.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Takin a Deuce

      Yes please...she has worms.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dave

    no....you don't have to agree with the jury. but then again, I don't have to watch you either. How did your lawsuit come out from when you railed against some poor women who had lost a child and then she committed suicide? Last I heard Grace was being sued. What a dirtbag.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • ted

      Good...she needs to be tossed on TV and hopefully the lawsuit is a RAGING SUCCESS!!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sam

    nancy might lose her show now, good,don't let the door hit your old butt on the way out. LOL

    July 7, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Canine Humper

      We can only hope and pray.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • phan

      ummm... are you an idiot? do you know how much money nancy grace pumped into her station, cnn, newspapers, ect... she's gonna get a raise, not fired. were you on the jury?>.... because that is the 2nd dumbest thing ive heard since 'not guilty'

      July 7, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
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