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. Kendra

    All these people talking about Nancy Grace well i am pretty sure you people watched her, you were the reason her ratings were so high! everybody has an opinion and there right to speak it! just as well as you don't like her, she sitting making money getting her name bigger because good or bad your still talking about her putting her in the media! It is not like her opinion is going to sway a judge there! so get over it!

    July 7, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. annie

    Nancy said: "The jury is the sole judge of facts, evidence and the law."

    This is exactly what this jury did. This is in a nutshell exactly why they found her 'not guilty'. This was a case in which these jurors knew they were potentially sending this woman to her death with a guilty verdict. I don't know about anyone else, and I don't know what evidence Nancy Grace thinks she saw but had I been on that jury – no WAY could I have said beyond reasonable doubt that she was the one who murdered and disposed of that child. That she's a crazy, disturbed person seems quite clear. That she didn't display what we consider 'normal' grieving behavior at the loss of the daughter is absolutely troubling. Is she innocent? I really don't know – but I know for certain there simply wasn't enough to link her beyond reasonable doubt to this murder. Nancy Grace does no favors to the justice system in her baying for Anthony's blood. It's disgusting.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. LADY

    how about the defense team? laughing, and drinking champayne while Caylee death goes unvindicated. We all know the defense team knows she did it, but, the prosecution team did not prove it.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Penis Buffet

      @ Lady

      Yea and had the persecution won they wouldve been drinking and celebrating. SO...What your point you OLD HAG!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. olive

    Casey looked very pretty in court this morning. Her hair down looking like the beaufiful princess she is. I would love to go down on her.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mike from Calgary

    Nancy Disgrace does agree, she is just DISAGREEABLE. She is an mean spirited petty old woman who has no respect for the law. She is truly a DISGRACE.
    Keeping this young woman in jail while George "pass me the duct tape" Anthony is free lets you know why American Justice and the American Economy is in tatters. Keeping her in jail just keeps the tab mounting for the taxpayer. In view of the mob mentality (reminds me of Tehran in '79) stoked by CNN & HLN, maybe those extra correction of public safety expenses are necessary.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  6. Paul

    NANCY IS FOUL, AN ANGRY-MOUTHED LEACH

    July 7, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Darth Tater

      I bet she also has heart worms.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. Douglas John Bowen

    Ms. Grace may have it backwards. The jury does not have to agree with her.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joe

    Nancy Grace needs to be taken off the air......

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

    Why couldn't the jury convict Ms. Anthony on one of the lesser counts of Murder? The child was in her care, custody and control and her skeletal remains were found. Child endangerment, negligence, manslaughter, 2nd degree murder, there were so many other possibilities. Why were those not chosen?

    July 7, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • ken

      There was no proof that the child was with her mother last. Blame was put on the grandparents also in this case, so there was doubt that Casey was last to see her alive. MUCH DOUBT to the prosecution's case they presented. Sad verdict though.

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

      Because the state did not give the option for a lesser charge!!!!!!! They swung for the fence and never touched the ball.

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

      Because she wasn't charged with lesser counts of murder. You can't be found guilty of something that you have been charged with.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • SLH

      Ooops...meant you can't be found guilty of something you have NOT been charged with.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. Vera Breeding

    My great fear has been not whether Casey Anthony was guilty or not but that CNN Headline News would be the agency to decide guilt or innocence – sure, get those ratings up and go to hell Nancy Grace.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. CoreyD

    "Juries have been watching too much "CSI" – they want murder weapon, DNA, fingerprints." Yeah, that stuff is called 'evidence,' and believe it or not, the concept of 'evidence' has existed before the show CSI came on the air. Convicting people without evidence makes absolutely no sense...NG is seriously nuts

    July 7, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      That is true "CoreyD" but I think Grace is saying that folks in this country live vicariously through TV and the media so much today, that this is the only information that they get. So in turn, their personalities are manipulated by fantasy and they think CSI is reality. Think of how we would be if we had no TV or radio such as it was 200 years ago? People were people; plain and simple. No hype, no NG. People like her would have been tarred and feathered, not idolized. There is a large percentage of the American population that watches TV 24/7 and this is their "schooling". Sad but true.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • nellage

      you not only not understand what evidence is but probably also do not realize that this was a mother who killed her daughter with her own hands – most what could be used as evidence if a stranger committed a crime with a weapon was not applicable here. have you ever heard of babies shaken to death by their parents? where is the evidence and the murder weapon here – yet would you not find a person who does this guilty of murder??

      July 7, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      Nancy Grace needs to get a life. If she wants to try cases, let her go back to prosecuting. If she wants to be a journalist, let her learn some objectivity. If I never again hear the words "tot mom," it'll be too soon. HLN has become the Fox News equivalent of Court TV, with overblown rhetoric and an editorial page that dwarfs the actual news. Lots of people were stunned by the verdict but only people like Nancy Grace refuse to thank or understand the 12 jurors who put their lives on hold to sift through the evidence and follow the jury instructions.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Zipperhead1968

    For those ppl saying "she was found not guilty. Get over it!" May you never have a loved one taken from you, have heinous acts done to them and killed w/the guilty brought to trial and then found NOT guilty for which they are being accused of doing to your loved one, I say to you WE DO NOT WANT TO HEAR FROM YOUR SORRY ASSES ABOUT THE INJUSTICE, WE DO NOT WANT TO HEAR YOUR WHINING & WANTING COMFORT. GET OVER IT! When you, the Anthony Supporters, and you the jurors, need justice may you NOT receive it & may you drown in your sorrow, pain, and tears

    July 7, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      Being a victim does not give you special rights, including the right to ignore the rules and invent your own version of justice. It's frustrating that someone would lie to those trying to help her find her child, only to lead them on a wild goose chase, while she – or someone near her – dumped the child in a nearby swamp. Casey Anthony deserves four years for that – three of which she has already served. But there were enough gaps in the evidence for a jury to stop short of a guilty verdict for murder. The state swung for the fences and lost. This is not about you and your unhealed issues. If you want to make the world a better place, support better laws.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. Doug

    I don't know how she keeps her job with CNN. There's obviously more people who dislike her than otherwise. I don't think the people who work with her like her.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      CNN has been flanked by Fox News, which cares less about objectivity than about ratings. Nancy Grace is just Rush Limbaugh in drag. She cares more bout ratings than about journalistic standards.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  14. John N Florida

    Nancy Grace is the Poster Child for Prosecutorial Misconduct. You don't have to trust Wiki. Each case can be looked up from the links. I've done it.
    The First Amendment gives Ms. Grace the Right to Speak.
    Nothing in that Amendment requires us to be stupid enough to listen.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  15. MAX

    although nancy grace i believe is right she's a hack a pig a disgusting redneck beeatch living off other peoples misery

    July 7, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
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