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. WETFUSE13485

    As for Nancy Grace, she is a joke even to herself. Loud and goofy as hell.

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

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

    I think that Grace is Satan himself disguised as a human being.

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

    Typically I can't stand Nancy Grace. She's a vile, close minded *insert rude explicative*. But... in this conversation she is standing up for what I strongly believe in myself. Free speech. I strongly disagree with most of her opinions and stances but I support her right to be ignorant, overly opinionated and close minded. It's her right.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Kerwyn

    Ms. Grace is free to believe what she will. Unfortunately, she takes her "personal" beliefs and presents them as facts. She sensationalized this case when it should not have been. Rather than be a factual reporter, she uses emotion, innuendo and junk science to "try" someone in the public eye. Regardless of whether Anthony killed her child or not, Ms. Grace all but single handedly tried to make sure she did not get a fair trial under our justice system. I must admit my shock when Anthony was found not guilty. Not because there was little evidence to support a capital murder charge, but because of the wholesale butchery that Grace has indulged in these past few years leading up to the trial. Bravo to the Jury.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. hank d

    Nancy, we don't have to care if you agree. Thank God the legal system still works and you aren't the America's judge/jury/executioner

    July 7, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tek

    Grace is the lowest form of life on this planet. She is a part of the "media mobsters" in my opinion. She may have a large following but then again so did David Koresh.
    Nancy Grace is part of the cancer that is eating our society!

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

    Nancy Grace said, "The jury is the sole judge of facts, evidence and the law." As a former prosecutor and an alleged expert on legal matters, how can she be so ignorant? A jury examines the testimony and evidence, and renders a verdict based upon the facts they belive to have been proven during trial. A jury does NOT judge the law- the jury is given specific instructions by the judge as to the law. In fact, the judge is the judge of the law, not the jury.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  8. N in Orlando

    I would love nothing more than to see Nancy Grace get fired. She is a poor excuse for a journalist. I can honestly say i just started to watch HNL and can honestly say, I won't be watching it anymore as long as she remains on the air spewing the garbage she does.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. SS

    This trial has no positives–other than people getting to rub s h it in nancy grace's troll face. That's just awesome and she deserves it.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      If I NEVER have to hear her say "tot mom" again it will be tooooooo soon!

      July 7, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • yavva

      Speakin of tots. NG needs to lay off of them. Her ass needs a banner across it stating "Oversized Load."

      July 7, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • The Man

      Nancy Grace herself should understand the Jurors did the right thing. Attacking their persons and what they had on their personal record does not justify them to be so called idiots. They are instructed on the case step by step. Unfortunately they did the right thing. The prosecution was trying to get her convicted on the premise that she is a tramp. They never said this is how she killed her and this is why. They kept painting her as a party girl. Well I know a lot of great moms who are tramps and party girls. Doesn't make them kill their kids. Nancy Grace is a disgrace to the law community. This case and her answer to the verdict are exactly why she's not a prosecutor no longer. Too bad she is on tv giving bad advice. Do I think Casey Anthony killed her daughter? YES!!! Do I think the prosecution proved she did it?? HELL NO!!!! Does Nancy Grace know what's she's doing? NO WAY!!

      July 7, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Webhoncho

      Nancy Grace suffers again from hoof in mouth syndrome.

      One of the reasons she left her previous life actually practicing law was her constant fear of being brought up on ethics charges. She can't stop playing fast and loose with facts, and WORSE. All of her "admirers" should read up on Nancy Grace's legal disGraces while working as a prosecutor.

      Nancy, you can run but you can't hide from your past.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. K.

    NG is a disgrace, just interested in sensationalizing tragedy to further her own aspirations. I encourage everyone to look at her Wikipedia page just to see how misguided she is. And I would be willing to bet she's the first one to have a book on the shelves regarding this case. Shame on CNN – I would expect higher standard from you.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  11. k

    I dispise Nancy Grace...but in this she is partially right.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. Crazy Nancy

    Seriously, Nancy Grace, get off your high horse and admit that you were wrong. You are so blinded by your ridiculous "inhibition" that you are just making a fool of yourself. You defend yourself by claiming that every other person is wrong, and then when it finally comes that YOU are wrong, you blame the jury. Because of your arrogance, ignorance, and unjustifiable claims, you are now the laughing stock of national television. Respect the process. Instead of going on and on (and on and on and on) about how "right" you are and how the entire state of Florida's justice system is flawed, you should stop making a mockery of yourself, quit bashing other people (especially the jury), and drop the whole subject matter. Instead of pleading the First, please, for your sake, plead the Fifth and remain silent.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Devin

      Absolutely! Amen to that.....well said......

      July 7, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. jg

    Nancy Grace give me the pee shivers she is so creepy. Too much makeup. Dumb redneck. Confrontational. Bad hair. Reminds me of ignorant secretaries working in school systems with big mouths, loud opinions, and not enough education or intelligence to back it up.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Penis Buffet

      OH YEAH!!! Nice one. And I bet she smells like the underside cushions of a old couch that has had kids taking a constant pee on.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sick of Nancy

    I don't mind saying I am not surprised at this verdict. There was not enough evidence to fairly cinvict and at most she would have won on appeal (good use of taxpayer's money). Something happend to Caylee and we will never really know except she was born into a family of pretty screwed up folks. Nancy Grace is no longer a prosecutor and merely a media personality with an annoying habit of always thinking she is right. I thank goodness our judicial system is not governed by what Nancy Grace has to say. She staes "her opinion" and apparently the jury disagreed. She should shut the heck up and go home and raise her kids.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. *nicole

    I agree 100% with Nancy Grace. I hope she spills the beans to someone and they happen to be recording because she got away with all the lies and other evidence which is crap.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Buck

      Casey can admit to killing her daughter and still can't be tried for it again.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
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