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. Jimbo

    Yes, Nanch, you do have to agree with the jury. A person should be tried with a 12 member jury of his or her peers randomly selected from a cross section of society. This is justice. This whole jury manipulation and selection process is a travesty to our justice system. The legel system worked for Casy Anthony. The prossecution could not prove its case well enough to convince the jury. Period. Any jury will consist of flawed human beings just like us.
    None of us were there. None of us are omniscient nor are any of us omnipotent. REal justice is a fantasy because of this. We hope we got it right and most of the time when the facts and evidence are presented, the truth will rise to the surface and become clear. Sometimes the facts are too hazy and the evidence to ambiguous. When there isn't a high degree of certainty, the accused should go free. Karma or God will have to ultimately settle the matter. We have to accept the jurys decision. Nancy Grace is out to lunch and her opinion only adds to the errosion of our confidence in justice system.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Another Chris

      Well, it was Florida. I doubt they had to do much jury manipulation to find those 12 tards.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. David

    It's not just the drive for ratings: it's plain bad judgement, both on Grace's part and CNN for allowing this sort of yellow journalism. Grace is 0-for-two on high profile cases in which she got out early and championed for "victim's rights" does anyone at CNN remember her miserable performance in the Duke Lacrosse case? Now she is out there trying to defend herself and impugn the decision of 12 jurors. Grace needs to exercise some grace and bow quietly out, since she has disgraced herself and CNN. She has no credibility! If she doesn't go, CNN should let her go.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. Scott

    NG and the media are actually Satan and his demons who have taken the images of human beings. They are intent on destroying the U.S. with false-truths, lies, and deceipt. I think NG is Lucifer himself.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. mickymo

    I don't know which one I don't like more...Casey or Nancy. Although Casey is hot.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. LAG

    Glen Beck, Newt Gingritch, Nancy Grace, Carl Rove, Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, Rush Limbaugh, Rupert Murdoch, and many more....

    These are the people you listen to??? Pathetic.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jules

    Juror # 3 is saying that the jurors just could not find any evidence to get Casey for Murder. Well did they not read the countof aggravated CHILD ABUSE? That is just child abuse (which definately had evidence to prove) with a death. Yes the penalty is the same but the charge is much different that Murder 1. There was ample CHILD ABUSE and ended in death even if was an accident. DID THE JURORS NOT READ THAT CHARGE? THE EVIDENCE WAS DEFINATELY THERE FOR AGGRAVATED CHILD ABUSE no matter what those jurors say!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. DMR

    Nancy Grace is in part responsible for the lack of a conviction in this case. She forced the hand of the prosecution to go forward with a very weak case and evidence with many holes. Ms. Grace needs to be held accountable for her actions. Twice before the Georgia Supreme Court she was admonished for unprofessional conduct as a prosecutor. She never let a little thing like FACTS get between her desires for convictions at all costs, and the truth.

    Ms. Grace is a symbol of what is wrong with the legal system, not what is right. Our law has been, since the founding of this nations, innocent until proven guilty. Ms Grace works by guilty until proven innocent. Her venom is intolerable and indicates a potential for some serious psycho-pathology on her part. She has on numerous occasions interfered with the investigation and prosecution process, especially in the Casey Anthony cases. It is clear the prosecution was pressured into going forward on a capital murder case with insufficient evidence. Much of that pressure was generated by Ms. Grace. At some point, likely very soon, the conduct of Ms. Grace will get to the point that a prosecutor will charge her with interference in the investigative and proprietorial process. At some point, again likely soon, Ms. Grace will slander someone to the point that she and CNN will face a considerable civil case, and not be on the winning side.

    It is time for CNN and their parent company Time-Warner to cut all ties with Ms. Grace. She is a danger to the entire legal system of this country. Her automatic presumptions of guilt fly in the face of actual law, which is innocent until proven guilty.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Jimbo

      Well said DMR. Its good to read a cogent argument instead of a bunch of inflamatory accusations. Its good to know there are other intelligent, thinking people out there who understand the issues and how certain celebrities undermine our justice system and lead many others down the path of presuming someone is guilty without hearing all the facts or evidence. We can only restore the integrity of our justice system with people who understand that innocent until proven guilty is not an opinion, it is the basis of our legel system.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Don

    NG Is inflaming weak people who may seek their own version of vigilante justice on Casey. What will NG say then? Will she sit back and applaud the murder of Casey if some hothead offs her? Or will she cover that person's trial for murdering Casey and support the murderer or support the prosecution.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • FatSean

      Indeed. Grace is a hideous evil woman with an evil heart. The best I can wish for her is that her death by cancer be swift and relatively painless.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  9. hntrfmhades

    could casey and/or her family members and others be charged under federal law(s) for violating the civil rights of Kaylee? Double jeopardy would not apply. It's been used in countless civil rights cases where the murder/manslaughter/etc ended up in not guity verdicts

    July 7, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Screw trying her again, just set Dexter loose on her.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  10. JustSayNoNow

    Nancy is exactly right. All of you that disagree with her, need to 'learn' from her. Keep watching – you'll come around.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Tanner Guthrie

      JustSayNoNow: You are the kind of ignorant people that fuel CNN and the Nancy Grace show. She is unreasonable, retributive, and repulsive…much like a majority of the prosecutors in this country. The bottom line is that beyond a reasonable doubt is a high standard of proof for the state to overcome. They did not meet that burden, and the jury found her not guilty. We average 15,000+ murders a year in the USA…how many of those trials got media time? If Nancy wants to protect the innocent then maybe she should cover more than 1 murder out of the 45,000+ that have occurred in the last 3 years.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. Charles in DSM,IA

    Who cares what Nancy thinks, she is loud, repulsive, and a complete joke, too bad too, CNN used to do real talk news, now they do tabloid with people such as this. And yes, I came here just to post this, otherwise I would not read much less watch this obnoxious female.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • pete theman

      i agree absolutely with you ...... thats a compliment cos its pretty rare

      she talks about casey profiting from this ..... tell me people who has profited most if not her

      SHE HAS BEEN TRIED .....AND FOUND NOT GUILTY !!!!!!!!!!!!! GET OVER IT

      BY THE WAY I PERSONALLY THINK SHE WAS GUILTY

      July 7, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. LAG

    She reminds me of the movie Scarface...

    "Only you got a look on your face like you haven't been f@#$ed in months"

    July 7, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. wondering

    Totally agree. This journalist comes off as a person who is full of hate. Is that journalism ?

    July 7, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. wondering

    Totally agree. This journalist comes off as a person who is full of hate. Is that journalism

    July 7, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ken

    Whenever I click on any CNN news and Nancy Grace pops up as the commentator, I immediately abort the item. She is disgusting in the way she attacks anyone and everyone. She spent three years trying this case in the media. No one knows what happened to Caylee except her killer, and that person is unknown. There was clearly insufficient evidence for a conviction of Casey Anthony except in the mind of Nancy Grace. She should keep her mouth shut and stop trying to be judge and jury for everything that happens. She is not a journalist or commentator. She is a divisive and arrogant and is totally non-objective on anything. CNN should hand her a pink slip and hire someone who is sensible in her place.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
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