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. JP

    I think it's incredible that a reporter who is supposed to report the news without any personal bias or emotion has made such a fool of herself and her profession by becoming so emotionally involved in a case where she can't possibly know all the facts. She says that she used to be a prosecutor herself. Well, if this is the way she reacts to a case that she is not involved with, I think she was probably fired for not paying attention to the facts of cases and simply letting her emotions get in the way of doing her job. She thinks that since she is a woman, she has the right to become the leader for all women who are mothers that disagree with the verdict of this case. Well, Nancy Grace, your opinion is just that – an opinion and nothing more. Why don't you get off of your ugly belligerent soapbox and actually do some reporting (your job, which you've obviously forgotten about).

    July 7, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. John

    Ms. Grace is a prime example of what is wrong with the legal system. There is a presumption of innocence that should protect people in our society from the attacks that Ms. Grace is famous for every night on her TV show. Presumption of innocence is the cornerstone of our legal system.....it is the pillar that holds it up above the legal tyranny found in other nations that would convict its people without a fair trial. Ms. Grace should know this!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. I, the jury

    Maybe we should change our legal system. Nancy Grace can be given the case, decide on how she wants to deliver it to the people, then given unlimitted air-time to pontificate to the masses. Later, CNN could do a poll and use the results to determine the outcome. No messy juries, lawyers, or evidence. Just Nancy Grace and her doing the thinking for us. Personnaly, I can't stand the cow....

    July 7, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Adeles big butt

      MMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...MMMMMOOOOOOO...come yank my utters while I pee.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. ken

    the thing about Nancy Grace and others that say outrageous things like Limbaugh, Hannity, Stern...is that is how they make money. The more outrageous they things they say, the more people listen the more they can attract advertisers...even people who hate them tune in. If we hate them stop tuning in, the less people tune in the less advertisers they will attract, the less money they can bring in and they will get canceled. Heck we shouldn't even be responding to this in her case.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jack

    Get over yourself, if I had as bad a track record picking these cases like she does, I would be unemployed. Nancy Grace is a pathetic lady, that does not have a life. Get her off the airwaves

    July 7, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. John McGrew

    Grace is an evil person who manipulates the truth. Those who work for her are evil as well. Their evilness is rewarded by CNN who only cares for ratings and not legitimate truth. They sold out their journalistic and legal roots to become sensationalists. Yes, they may all sleep in nice big houses, but their core rots in fetid decay. They and their spawn are worthless garbage.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Couldn't agree with you more....bottom line everybody is always guilty with her and when she is wrong she will never admit to being wrong.....i.e...duke lacrosse kids.......to this day I can't believe CNN would keep her, they are a very well run news agency but this loose cannon does nothing but harm their reputation

      July 7, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Graham

      DittoNG is a parasite on society and CNN should dump her. She is a legend in her own mind but serves no useful purpose. I have never heard of anyone who likes her. In fact it is the opposite.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • David Descoteaux

      Perhaps Nancy Grace should enter politics, and team up with Michell Bachman & Sarah Palin ... a trifecta of if mindless woman who spout their BS as though Americans really care about their views. Shame on CNN.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      I love NG, Keep going nancy, the jury really dropped the ball on this bratt,

      July 7, 2011 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. fidgetwidget

    NG needs to shut her piehole. CNN needs to wise up and get rid of her....the sooner the better.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. MK

    Honestly, this has to end. If an attorney really believes that jury selection is the end of the process for all practical purposes, she has either a very low belief in her ability to make an argument, or a very low opinion of fellow human beings. I didn't follow this case, mostly because it's irrelevant in light of all the important things going on in the world and secondly because the 24 hour news cycle made it impossible to watch objectively. If you want to talk about poisoned juries, take an introspective look at the effect of convicting people before their indictment. If you have information the police and prosecutors don't, isn't it your moral obligation to turn it over? If not, shut up and report the facts.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Shadowflash1522

    As someone who was recently tapped as a juror on a capital murder trial, I am *beyond* insulted at NG's comments. The jury was "stupid"? "Illogical in their deliberations"? Lady, this is someone's LIFE we are talking about. Jury duty is no picnic, especially in a case of this nature, and the least you can do is be respectful of their duty and their final decision.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. Penny

    I would only hope that someone would continue to look at the possibility of her dad being complicit in the death of this little girl. It may have been an accident that went terribly wrong, but there is something not quite right about Casey's dad. Her poor mother who had to sit in the courtroom while her husbands mistress testified. How disgusting. Her mother needs to file for divorce and separate herself from the idiot. Then maybe we will hear more about what really happened. Why weren't they focusing on how disfunctional this family really is. Caylee suffered greatly just because she was born into this disgusting group of people.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. Scott

    Nancy Grace's "opinions" are the very the reason I do not watch her show and if she is on any show, I change the channel. Regardless of how bad we feel about the verdict, the truth is their was not enough evidence to prove the case. Too much reasonable doubt and not enough evidence to charge her and if I were a juror, as much as I believed she was guilty there was simply not enough evidence against her to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that she killed her daughter.... I hate to say it but the press (Nancy Grace was one of them) slain her guilty from day 1 therefore the american public was on the guilty trail therefore why we are upset....In the end, the facts of the case and the lack of evidience and the fact far too much doubt was highlighted, the jury did the right thing, even though we al think she did it. You cannot convict someone based on the fact you believe she did it, you have to have the evidence and rule out any doubt to convict..... Nancy Grace should keep her opinions to herself and I agree with many of the comments saying that Nancy Grace uses the media to convict people before they go on trail.....

    July 7, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • lenny

      Nancy Grace is a big mouthed idiot & to emotional & no common sense. The prosecution over charged, didnt have any direct evidence linking Casy to murder.The defense did a outstanding job, Baez tore the prosecution new ones. His closing was superior. Nancy for get your media charged opinions, trial in the media and emotions. THE JURY WAS LEFT WITH NO RECOURSE The profesional and 1st time test didnt hold water it had a gaping hole that leaked everywhere. While she may have had done something inapprpriate it wasn MURDER. SOMETHING TERRIiBLE WENT WRONG AND SHE PANNICKED & MADE THINGS TOUGHER. i THINK SHE LOVED HER DAUGHTER. THINGS CAN HAPPEN AND SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL. THE LAUGHING MAN THIS GIRL WAS OFFERED ALL KINDS OF PLEAS, BUT SHE REFUSED AND FOUGHT. WITH HER LIFE AT STAKE. THINK OF ME WHEN SHE WALKS THURSDAY NANCY YOU LOSE STOP BEING SO RIGHTOUS AND TRYING PEOPLE IN THE MEDIA. YOU MAKE ME WANT TO VOMIT.YOUR HEAD AND EGO IS WAY OVER INFLATED. MR BAEZ DID A GREAT JOB RASIING REASONABLE DOUBT. HIS CLOSING WAS ONE FOR LOSERS LIKE YOU TO REMEMBER AND NEVER FORGET INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. FfRESH AIR FOR CASEY TOMORROW. I HOPE SHE GETS HELP AND LIVES A A BETTER LIFE. I wish you get off the dam air you are known as digraceful grace now. Lenny

      July 7, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Gary Hayes

      I agree Scott Nancy grace is an angry, self absorbed woman. For someone who claims to be a lawyer she is ruled by raw emotion. The two do not work together. I personally believe Casey Anthony should consider suing Nancy Grace andHLN for the slander she spewed. It is totally irresponsible to make arbitray accusations against an accused person with no real knowledge of the crime or how it was committed. I do notknow if Casey Anthony killed her daughter but I do know the evedince the state presented did nothing to prove she did.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Scott, I couldn't agree more. A trial by media started long before the police had come to any investigative conclusions, and the talking heads such as NG had long since decided that they knew already before any evidence had been provided. And now people are angry because what they were told turns out not to be true after it has been played out in a court, and like spoiled children now want some sort of comfort. If NG wants to blame anyone, she should blame herself and her peers coverage of the trial which resulted in a tainted jury pool from the beginning thanks to the saturation of their coverage. However, in her arrogance, she wouldn't believe herself to be wrong in her actions. Looking at the code of ethics on the bar associations websites also gives rise to conflicting views on her "first amendment" right of speech. The bar associations DO frown on making public statements because it makes the profession as a whole look bad.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  12. JMeds

    "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"...blah, blah, blah!!!

    Saw the audiotapes? Heard the videotapes? She's an idiot!

    July 7, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. RIP PIMP C

    Nancy Grace should be jailed for obstruction of justice.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  14. Brian

    Nancy Grace's presence on HLN makes the entire CNN company look bad. She is an obnoxious, loud-mouthed bully who doesn't deserve the air-time she gets. As soon as I see or hear her, I change the channel. Please take this woman off the air!

    July 7, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  15. suesark

    Yeah, well...in Nancy Grace's world everyone is guilty until proven innocent. Do we THINK that Casey Anthony is guilty??? Yes! Do we KNOW she is guilty? No! Based on the evidence presented, I am not sure what verdict I might have rendered if I had been on that jury. I will say, though, that the courts might not have convicted her, but the public will. She will have to watch her back for the rest of her life. Helluva way to go through life don't you think???

    July 7, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
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