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. Jeff

    Nancy Grace and her pit viper JVM are media ghouls. I can't wait to see which dead baby they're going to use next to raise their ratings.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. Micah

    Shut Up Nancy Grace...you are not judge and jury in the US...how many child murder cases have gone on since the beginning of the Casey Anthony trial? WHERE IS YOUR OUTRAGE FOR THOSE CHILDREN? YOU, MRS GRACE, ARE MAKING A BUCK OFF OF THE DEATH OF CAYLEE ANTHONY! CNN SHOULD BE ASHAMED.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ben

    Your 10 minutes of fame are up Nancy at least on this case. Not to worry there will be a bus wreak of something right around the corner for you to cover. You ought to be ashamed about what YOU and the rest of the media have done to our country. Pretty sad that you make your living off from other people's pain and suffering and especially with you, the more of it the better. You had Casey tried and convicted before even you knew any of the facts. As with Casey God will be the judge of her guilt or innocent now as he will with you too. Good luck.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  4. Buck Knuckler

    Dear Nancy Grace,

    Close your grocery hole.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. Matt

    Well Nancy Grace if the court system and the prosecutors out there aren’t doing it the way you would then GET THE F@#$ OFF T.V. AND DO IT YOURSELF. The system has worked the way it was intended to and I’m glad to see it. As for you Nancy putting the jurors biz out there. GUESS F@#$ing what they are human and people make mistakes every day. Look at the mistake that the jack hole that hired you and put you on T.V. Get over it it’s done.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. I hate Nancy Grace

    What I hate about Nancy's comments during the day after the verdict were that they appeared (well to me) to be potentially hypocritical. Mainly in terms of the "book deals" that she says Casey will most likely get. B&*(h please! We all know you are going to write a book about your "hard work" covering this trial which will just serve a useless soapbox. CNN and HLN need to reassign her to Fox News. Listen Nancy, the jury did what they did, we of course dont have to agree, but just get over it and move on to another case. I hear there are arrests made around the clock in the US. You'll have a field day. Move on "sweetie", "darlin" or what ever annoying term of endearment you use.

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

    For Marcia Clark and Chris Darden (aka. OJ's prosecutors) this is the equivalent of Jamarcus Russell coming along to replace Ryan Leaf as the biggest bust in NFL draft history. They will no longer be looked at as "sole losers".

    If you allow idiots to part of the jury pool, you get an idiots decision.

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

    I know that many are upset with this verdict, but invest some time learning about our legal system. In reaction to strick English law – it was designed to prevent inocent people from being found guilty. Reasonable doubt is a high standard to meet. If you're angry with the outcome, direct it at the prosecution for bringing a case that they couldn't make, not at the jury.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jason Dean

    Ms. Grace thinks the "jury hamstrung the state"? People would do well to remember that despite what is becoming a frighteningly widely held assumption, the jury is NOT there to assist the state in punishing its fellow citizens. The jury is there to protect citizens from the state. The state must make not just a good case, not just a very good case, but a case beyond a shadow of a doubt. Otherwise we the people, as the jury, do not allow it to lay hands on another of the people. There might be serious misgivings that people have about how this or other cases turn out, but this is the system as our Founders wisely intended.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • The Man

      If Nancy Grace wants to right a wrong she should be going after the prosecution and their bumbling of this case. All they had to do was to prove the case. No they had to try and portray Casey Anthony as a Tramp and they focused on her character more than anything. The prosecutors should be fired.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Goober Gobblin

      If Nancy Grace sat down for a meal at the Penis Buffet, the Penis' would get up and walk out.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. Buck

    There is no doubt in my mind that Casey killed her daughter... but Nancy Grace still reminds me of fingernails scratching a chalkboard – even in a print she does!

    July 7, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. aliG

    my god this woman is unappealing

    July 7, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Harold

      She gives the downs syndrome community a bad name.

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

    I just returned from the ladies room after taking a huge Nancy Grace.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kelvin

    While I also believe Casey Anthony is guilty, what amazes me the most is the attack being leveled against the jury. It's funny how prosecutors, tv talk show hosts and people in general defend our judicial system saying it works....UNTIL a verdict is issued that they disagree with. This jury had to judge based upon the evidence presented to them. NOT PUBLIC OPINION. If anyone is the blame it is the prosecutor in this case. He agreed to the jury. He presented the case. To verbally assault the jury is as much an injustice as the result. It's not their fault. All honest people will admit, if we were in Casey's place today, we would be praising the jury for doing a good job.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  14. Thetroof

    We all know the donkey is your first choice..

    July 7, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sam

    Nancy Grace is INCREDIBLY unethical. Day in and day out. The world is a safer place without her prosecuting places. She clearly has no problem with jailing people who could be innocent, and I'm sure many people have died in jail for crimes they did not commit due to her mental issues.

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