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. Tom O'Connell

    The admission by the defense, in court, that Caylee drowned accidentally in the pool and was found by Casey and her father is an admission of crimes. They did not have the right to declare Caylee dead. They failed to report the "accident". They illegally disposed on the body (and disgracefully). There are a number of charges they should answer for given Casey's confession.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jared

    Nancy Grace is right – she does not have to agree with the verdict. None of us have to agree with the verdict. The fact remains that Casey Anthony was not convicted of the serious charges against her.

    One of the problems that has developed in the United States over the last decade is this belief that we, as Americans, deserve to be all emotional about having our opinion heard and people should listen to us when we give our opinion.

    Like or dislike the verdict, but Americans need to think critically hear, which means to think objectively and look at the fact that the defendant was found not guilty of the serious charges. Therefore, her life can now move on.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Allen Remillard

    I will never give Nancy Grace any credibility. This ex prosecutor is a knowing liar, as proven by the last case she prosecuted. The Georgia man she prosecuted was convicted of murder. Ms. Grace knowingly and intentionally fabricated evidence, as well as coercing witnesses to testify falsely. This was also intentional, in the opinion of the Georgia Supreme Court. My opinion is that she should be in prison herself, for being a dishonest prosecutor.

    Ms. Grace also is so judgmental at the outset of every case she reports. She was calling for Casey Anthony's death, even before she had been arrested. You can't tell me Ms. Grace knew anything more than the public knew at the time. Nancy Grace in an evil person who wants nothing more than to get her opinion on the air, regardless of who she hurts.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. kilcourtney

    Yeah Nancy Disgrace is the voice for the victimized, she's been tagged three times for misconduct as a prosecutor, responsible for Melinda Ducketts suicide, persecuting Richard Ricci and demonizing the Duke LaCrosse players. She is never right and lies about everything, including the facts behind her ex fiances murder in her book. If you listen or trust a thing this monster says you're a complete idiot. Period!

    July 7, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. Unsubscribe from Nancy Grace

    I wish my channel subscriptions would allow me to cancel just the channel(s) that Nancy Grace airs on, her ongoing drama about everything makes me sick. How many children died in the USA alone while you were simply reading these comments. Where are their stories? Are they any less important?

    July 7, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. PattyPal

    I do not know if Casey Anthony is guilty of murdering her daughter and 'the people' may never know for sure; I belive that she is at fault, in some way. However, a person should be judged in our courts by evidence and NOT emotions, assumptions or a prosecutor's viewpoint. I think the j...ury made their best effort to do just that. The prosecutors charged her with 1st degree murder, even though in a less publicized trial, they might very well have gone with a lesser charge. The media, mainly Nancy Grace, pushed the system to 1st degree murder charges. They cried witch for 3 years and whipped up a storm of emotions for everyone, including the prosecutors. If there is never justice for Caylee, a large part of the blame is at the feet of the media and Nancy Grace.See More

    July 7, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. LAG

    Can it be so easy????

    If you think that Casey should be killed then you are a GOP/Teabag

    If you think that Casey is guilty but that the prosecution failed to show the PROOF nessecary then you are DEM???

    July 7, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Snoop

      And if people think like you, then they are obviously brain dead.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  8. LAG

    Never would have been an issue if Casey had used CONDOMS...

    The 20 cent condom could have prevented this whole mess..but then Nancy Grace would be on the streets as a Squeegee cleaner.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. ken

    This goes to my idea that all aspects of court need to be professional. That means being a juror should be a profession. People goto school to be lawyers and in MOST cases judges (not a law to need to be a lawyer to be a judge that's just how things have turned out call it culture as judges are elected). BUT we force jury duty on the citizen and dont pay them for it. If Jurors were a profession then the jury pool would understand the way the law works and we would have much better verdicts all across the board from criminal to social cases. So when does the country get rid of the archaic jury and move to a real one? After all how many "innocent" people went to prison because a jury sent them there only to have the CSI come back later and say they were innocent. Maybe if the jury was professional this would not happen. This woman is more guilty than OJ but the difference is she will get rich and OJ the black guy is in jail of some trumped up setup BS and all because of citizen juries (BAD IDEA).

    July 7, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  10. Work

    She's such an annoying terrible person, pretty much the female version of Bill O'Reilly... And she should be ashamed of herself if she thinks the evidence presented in the case was enough to get the guilty verdict.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. Marc

    Please CNN .. give Nancy Grace a huge salary raise. That would keep such a biased person away from courtrooms for the sake of a good legal system. She's judging jurors, she does not have the evidences ... so please CNN, NG is a keeper ... as long as not in a courtroom.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  12. jt_flyer

    Well there you have it! Let's get rid of this whole antiquated legal system and just defer to Nancy Grace. Look at all the tax money we can save.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Snoop

      Plus, everyone will get a cute nickname!

      July 7, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  13. damnufools

    NANCY THE BLEACHED BLONDE BEACHED WHALE; PLEASE GO AWAY!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • LAG

      YA.

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

      She would make an excellent line backer or hammerhead shark.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jerry

    Nancy Grace had made Casey Anthony a celebrity. Not a well-like celebrity, but a celebrity just the same. NG should be held accountable for bringing Casey Anthony into the national spotlight with all the coverage that she dedicated on her show, which was ALL THE TIME. NG should NOT be surprised by all of the negative comments towards herself, and needs to step back and think, "What would I do if the entire nation was fixated on my family with a negative view?" Take a break from your show Nancy, and start focusing on news that is actually NEWSWORTHY!!! If I see one more of her shows where she is screaming at the camera or her panel, and then 2 seconds later can squirt out a tear for a missing child or fallen soldier, I will SCREAM!!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • damnufools

      Do like I do & don't watch her! if nobody watched the fool she would lose her show. She is disgusting & pathetic. Good Morning America has had her on 2 mornings in a row; and if they think she is what the people want they are sadly mistaken! If they want to give her another platform to preah from I can watch the TODAY show.... and I will. I refuse to be repulsed by Nancy Grace on HLN or network TV.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  15. LAG

    All you Jesus freaks need to go back under the rock you slthered out from and die.

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