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. NancyGraceFan

    I love Nancy Grace because she actually has a backbone and has made a living off of it. Who wants to hear some neutral, "I don't want to give an opinon" person on the air. That is so boring. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO NANCY! Don't hate on her just cuz she has a moral compass and speaks her mind and is an advocate for missing and exploited children everywhere. She's awesome.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rose

      Remember sometimes you get what you ask for. Don't think if something happened with you or your family she would treat you with respect or dignity. She would be the same foul mouth, blabber mouth who just likes the attention. I guess you get the prize for giving it to her.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinkingman

      Hitler had a backbone.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. damn yank

    Why is CNN interviewing their own news anchor? I have a few questions for you nancy...

    why are you a pig?
    don't YOU and YOUR fat mouth is bringing national sympathy to casey anthony?
    do you realize that we're starting to pity casey and starting to hate you?
    does your image mean more to you than the truth?
    if casey was found guilty, how many months would you have gloated on national tv?
    do you hear voices in your head?
    a jury of her peers found her not guilty of 1st degree murder...by law she is not guilty. yet you have already found her guilty and insist on her guilt...what kind of law school did you go to?

    most important question.....

    if the jury let anthony get away with murder then is the US justice system flawed?

    July 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ToniBaloney

    Nancy Grace should have her mouth shut with with duct tape, and get chloroformed. I'd watch that.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marta Batchelor

    Right now she has her people out searching the country for the next big trial she can make a mockery of. And low and behold this next trial will include someone who is white!

    July 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rose

    I can understand having strong feelings on a subject. I do think that Casey knew something and it was a situation where a dysfunctional family screwed up. I do not feel that inciting the public and being a vigilante' on air is appropriate. If this young women gets murdered by one of your audience members that you incited I hope you get the pants sued off you. I think you would even represent the murderer and think that they were right for doing it. Which of course would be hypocritical. I used to watch you a lot until the Tot mom case and you would interrupt people who were on your show that you didn't agree with. You became very biased and I am sorry you are not able to see that. It became very hard to watch your ranting and raving. I decided to stop watching you. The reality of the situation is a jury of her peers found her not guilty. I hope you don't bring this anger and hostility you show to people you don't agree with home in your personal life. Get over yourself.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Paul

    Nancy Grace is a rude and obnoxious television host. She's no different now than when she was on Court TV. I really don't understand why anyone would agree to appear on her show. Also, she's never met a defendant that wasn't guilty.
    Back in her Court TV days, I would tape her segment in order to fast-forward during the time she was talking and interviewing guests. In my opinion, she has absoluty no class at all.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ToadInAustin

      I remember her CourtTV days also, and I think she has taken her personna to even further extremes since then. All the other hosts–Dianne Diamond, Vinnie Politan, the impeccable Lisa Bloom, were so much better than she was, but she got the high-paying gig. That's not by accident, it's a deliberate choice by CNN to play down to the lowest common denominator.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JE

    I still am in shock as to the verdict. Every piece of evidence pointed to her guilt yet she walks free. I am loosing faith in our Judicial system; unfortunately someone gets arrested for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family and gets a year+ in prison but someone can kill an innocent child and get away with it; where is justice? I feel that there are three types of people in this world good, bad and evil and for someone to kill an innocent child I would consider that person as evil. Nancy please stop addressing Casey as the tot mom. To be a mom is a blessing and an honor and I would gladly lay my life down for my child . By addessing Casey as the tot mom she is disgracing good loving moms, I think that otherwise you did an excellent job and I commend all her efforts in this horrific case.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Maybe you should read about reasonable doubt and a look at the evidence they had. Oh that's right, they really didn't have anything.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Eva

    I learned more in my first year of law school than Ms. Grace will ever know... And the jury in this case whom she so inappropriately maligns is a more honorable representation of this country that she will ever be. God bless them.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ToadInAustin

    Nancy Grace's lack of dignity on the air, her extreme lack of professionalism, hasn't done anything but advance her career. She's learned that loud and dumb pays.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • S1N

      Of course, she's CNN's answer to FOX News. That's not exactly a secret.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Elizabeth

    Yeah Nancy is loud but I like her. She said everything that a lot of people were thinking. So basically if you don't like her, don't watch her. I think she had great coverage of this case and told it like it is.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rose

      The problem is that the people that watch her and think what she is doing is right are wrong. She can host a show where she just sits and talks to herself because that is what she does anyway. She has made a lot of the public that watch her furious to the point that she has put a women's life at risk. That is wrong! Being a vigilante' on air or off air is wrong.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chava

    Most of the Criminals are created by State. They legalize the drugs such as Marjuana.
    when a person become addicted to crazy drugs and make a crime under intoxication, he will be declared as criminals and penalized.
    State allow free availability of Guns and weponery in retail store to all the people. So if a social neglected person or abused at young age become stressed and start killing the people in anger, he will be a criminal.
    First of all why can' the law makers regulate drugs and guns kinds of stuff. People get divorced without taking the kids future into accout. then the kids gets abused by step-parents or miss the parental affection and develop a grudge on the society.
    Please first address the root cause. we can not keep or control the people as we control animals.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • ToadInAustin

      Chava, are you running for Miss South Carolina?

      July 6, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Derrick

    Nancy Grace coverage of this case was appalling!!!!

    July 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nita

    I wonder why no one ever mentions the FACT that the area where the body was found had been searched 5 times before she was found and the meter reader that found the body told his friend 2 days before the body was found that he was getting ready to be famous....and the meter reader also admitted that he took a stick and put it in the eye socket and moved it around....who does that???

    July 6, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. SusaJ

    Nancy Grace has been the prosecutor, judge and jury of Casey Anthony since June 2008, when Caylee was reported missing. Just because a mother didn't report her child missing for over 30 days (which is wrong no matter what) and is partying during that time, that doesn't make her guilty of murdering her child. The proscecution couldn't even say how the child was killed or when it happened. Those are 2 strong arguments that MIGHT lead a jury to convict someone of murder, or maybe manslaughter. I don't think that Casey is innocent of Caylee's death but I don't think that Casey is guilty of Caylee's murder. There is a difference. Nancy Grace has blinders on with this case and even with the verdict, she will never believe that Casey isn't guilty of 1st degree murder no matter what the evidence.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Gotoyourroom

    Nancy Grace reminds me of the lyrics to Sympathy for the Devil. I can just see her stirring up evil s**t since the beginning of time. She would have been instigating at the Salem Witch Trials, the McCarthy hearings, and she has that same frothing anger as the people doing the lynchings in the South. I'm going to trademark the term TOT MOM and sue her for that idiotic term (and I want punitive damages as well for my pain, suffering, and cringing in disgust everytime I had to read or hear her say this.) She made me not care about the verdict, all I cared about was her going away!

    July 6, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
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