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. Chief

    Just a reminder folks, Casey was not found INNOCENT. She was found NOT GUILTY. All that means is that the state did not prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. It does not mean that Casey did not do it or that she cannot be jailed for lying to invesigators (though she will likely get time served), that she cannot be sued to recover costs incurred as a result of her lies, that the nanny she accused cannot sue her, or that a wrongful death case cannot be brought against her.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      What is your point exactly?

      July 7, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jules

    DID THE JURORS NOT READ THE CHARGE OF AGGRAVATED CHILD ABUSE? THERE WAS MORE THAN ENUF EVIDENCE FOR THIS CHARGE – MAYBE NOT MURDER 1 BUT DEFINATELY AGGRAVATED CHILD ABUSE WITH DEATH

    July 7, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. Guest

    She's not in the business of forgiveness. What a loathsome human being Nancy Grace is.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. Richard Dewitt

    Nancy Grace made millions on casey anthony. In stead poisoning the nation's minds with her opinions during the last 3
    years on her show, she could have spend more time and looked for evidence. Nancy, you screwed up!. We are tired of hearing about your husband being murdered. Move on to another subject or get off the air. (GRACEMOM)

    July 7, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Guest

    The way America is feeling about Caycee right now is exactly how I feel about Ms. Nancy Grace. Waste of space.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. Zebula

    Amazing how hatred for Nancy Grace has clouded everyone's vision. Casey Anthony is GUILTY. Everyone knows it.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. resa

    Thank you nancy Grace for being the voice for those that can't speak for themselves, who suffer at the hands of parents, family, strangers, professionals, etc. I may not always agree with your opinion, but "Don't" you stop unearthing the "fetid bile" which lies in the hearts and minds of of those offenders which live, work, and serve in our society. God is our only judge. Casey will face him someday, (as we all will) , and Caylee will be by the Good Lords side when Casey meets her maker and stand in his presence to account for actions in this life. She will face her accuser, Little Caylee again, if she in fact did harm this beautiful child. Rock on Nancy.... Don't you stop doing what you are doing. My only wish for your work would be, that there would be thousands of you!

    July 7, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • PattyPal

      Nancy Grace has not been a voice for anyone, especially Caylee; she did Caylee a disservice. Her brand of 'justice' is the kind we saw when people cried 'WITCH'. We don't need this type player in the mix when it comes to justice. She isn't just you and I talking talking and expressing opinions. She is someone who gets paid a large amount of money to rake up emotions and get ratings going, rather like any other shock jock out there. Except, her arena is the law. She stirred the pot so much with opinion and conjecture that anyone with an ounce of empathy wanted the mother drawn and quartered. Did she get justice for Caylee? NO, justice was left behind in this case a long time ago. Justice for Caylee would have been for the gov't to do their best to find out what happened, charge the mother accordingly and have a trial. Grace muddied the waters everyone lost, including Caylee. She should have her law license revoked for ethical violations.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Unfortunately Nancy Grace thinks she is our only judge, AND jury.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. BBOB

    Nancy I think you do just what CNN (who by the way, I think is your boss) put you there to do. The fact that so many people hate you is proof!! If they don't like you all they have to do is change the channel. No matter how bad they bash you they have obviously been curious over what you think or they would know so much about your shortcomings. Keep up the good work. YOU MAKE ME THINK. It's a SHAME the jury couldn't have watched you before they made their decision. You keep on truckin' Nancy. I throughly enjoy your take on subjects and your comments that "TELL IT LIKE IT IS"!!

    July 7, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kj

    You do not say God Bless someone who judges others... Nancy Grace is a negative condescending media personality, not an attorney anymore... This is what the Georgia supreme court said about her in one of her cases, "the conduct of the prosecuting attorney in this case demonstrated her disregard of the notions of due process and fairness, and was inexcusable." How did this person ever get on tv, much less a news station??? Isn't the news supposed to be non biased? I turn the channel whenever she is on and I couldn't finish reading this article before I threw up in my mouth from her comments....

    July 7, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Tina-not the moron.

      How ironic that you would comment on judging others in one breath and then judge Nancy in the NEXT sentence. Can you say hypocrite. I love Nancy. She is honest and says what she thinks regardless of what popular opinion is.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Nancy Grace is the problem not the solution. Jane Velez Mitchell is the same, who made them the moral compass of socieity? 2 scorned biiiiiiiiitches

      July 7, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • nonnews

      Correct Nancy Grace hurts this country more than anyone else. She is letting her emotions control her rational thinking. Nancy convicted her long before this case got as big as it is. It's unbelievable that she received a fair trial.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. Missy

    Nancy is spot on! I like her and it's a shame a killer was freed because of a bunch of ignorant jurors. I totally agree with Nancy Grace!

    July 7, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • WETFUSE13485

      Jury Personnel are not ignorant just because they do not come to the same conclusion as you. So that you mean if you are picked for jury duty and I do not like your results, you are a idiot. See how stupid that sounds. If you have your day in court and you get sentenced a certain time by your peers, justice is served. If you are freed, then justice is served also.

      US NAVY RETIRED SCPO
      5326 SO/S.E.A.L. 21 YRS OF MILITARY SERVICE

      July 7, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • xjdavid

      I agree that Grace is abrasive, obnoxious, and sentationalizing. But she's right far more often than she's wrong, and in the case of Anthony, she is SPOT ON. Casey Anthony = Lizzie Borden.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. boka

    Ewwww! She is gross.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  12. Me

    Nancy.. please quit CNN. You are a waste of space. News Channels are supposed to state facts, not individual opinions of journalists filled with hatred. CNN.. take some lessons from BBC.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jinx62

    Nancy Grace is the Anti-Christ! A modern day Medusa! How did this woman ever get on television?

    July 7, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Skippy

    That's right, blame the jury. It wasn't the prosecutor who failed, it was the jury.

    Nancy, you are so full of yourself and your bravado that you have no actual credibility.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. Alexander Martinez

    Really unprofessional. I cannot see how someone can let their emotions get in the way of acting somewhat ethical. I'm really offended of her bashing the jury. They did superb work! Nancy can disagree without sounding so barbaric. Ridiculous and she looks really stupid. I'm sure she will never be looked at the same. Everyone now knows she's an evil monster now(if they didn't before). Her and George W. Bush should get a room and enlighten each other.

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