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. Pat

    This is sooo sweet. Hey NG:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

    July 7, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. Betty ButtSlammer

    Casey looks just lovely this morning. I love her hair down instead of the pony tail. She is truly a beautiful woman.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. Nunya

    Nancy Grace is the biggest loser on the planet. The woman is a disgrace to humanity.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. dizizcamron

    yup. the prosecution did such a great job she wouldn't change anything. its the jury's fault that they didnt agree with nancy grace, cause they're so stupid and she's so smart and righteous. i don't think there is a former lawyer in the public eye that has more disdain for the checks and balances of our justice system than nancy grace.

    the ranting and hearsay she presents on her show clearly indicated casey was guilty, and its ridiculous that the stupid JURY responsible for determining guilt or innocence let their "reasonable doubts" deprive nancy of her vindication (and ratings).

    July 7, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dave Pepper

    I'd like to say that Jane Velez-Mitchell needs a new WIG!!!! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa LMAO

    July 7, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. yardbarker

    Nancy Grace should be on Foxnews all the hate she rants.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. Gray

    Grace appears to be an angry woman with no real personality. Ever watch her show? It has no clear direction other than to create hostility among the guests on the show. Want to reduce your carbon foot print? Don't watch her show. Just my 2 cents worth.

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

      Agreed, Nancy disGrace (and HLN/CNN) is a disgrace to both the media AND the legal profession for fanning the flames of this case beyond reason.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • sally

      Love Nancy Grace. She fights for children who do not have a voice. For all these people who criticize her you all seem to know an awful lot about her shows. Turn the channel and put your energy elsewhere. You must watch and would do anything to get air time with her if your child was missing.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. Charles

    Zipperhead1968,
    get your act together! That's why we have courts and not mob justice, because the anger and need for revenge can put innocent people in harm's way. We just celebrated the 4th of July in this country, and one of its core values is the "rule of law". Those os us who feel bound by it, as everyone should, are not Anthony supporters. If you want to blame someone, blame the prosecution for not pursuing a lesser charge. The point is that there was no evidence proving that Anthony delibirately killed her daughter. Even the strongest evidence, the duck tape, was not proven that it was placed on Caylee by Anthony. Do I thing Anthony is guilty? Possibly. Would I have found her guilty of first degree murder if I was a juror? Not beyond reasonable doubt!

    July 7, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. mike

    Nancy tried to make a name for herself by coining 'tot mom'. The problem is, America can't stand you, Nancy!

    July 7, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Real News Please

      Strange. I thought Nancy was a "tot mom". Isn't half her show having sk ups compliment her on her darling tots? Amzes me how she can the yell "tot mom" repeatedly like its the worst label ever coined, not being smart enough to make the understanding that she's a "tot mom" herself. Understand that, and you pretty much get how the rest of the show works. Anyone disagrees, gets cut off, while everyone else on the show grovels unbelievably. They must be paid awfully well or be awfully desperate to be on TV to sacrifice their self respect so much.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. Eduardo Rey

    Nancy Grace – you may not agree with the verdict but it it's wrong for you to denigrate the members of the jury. It weakens your arguement. Face it – this is our system of justice.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. 1984

    what gets me is this lady can smear all kinds of people and not have to be responsible for it. The state could not prove the case. PERIOD. To blame the jurors for being illogical is wrong. I thought the whole idea of being a good religious person is to be able to forgive.. I cannot stand this lady... If she has all the answers then why isnt she still out there being the prosecutor or out there running for political office. Her head is so BIG you can use it for a hot air balloon...

    July 7, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Real News Please

      Those who can, do. Those who can't.....

      July 7, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. dizizcamron

    "I miss being a prosecutor so much. I miss it every day. Thats why I don't return to legal practice. I just sit in front of a camera, make snap judgement of people's guilt or innocence, and throw stones at people i don't personally like. The much larger salary I have as a talking head is just a burden I have to bare."

    the whole point of our justice system is that we, as a society, would rather let a guilty person go free than risk imprisoning an innocent person.

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

    So tired of this 1st Amendment excuse. It is the same excuse Westboro Baptist uses. Just because you have a right to do something and are exercising that right doesnt automatically make any use of that right responsible or ethical.

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

    OH SHUT THE FING UP NANCY GRACE NOBODY CARES WHAT U THINK U UGLY TRAMP ITS BECUZ OF LOSERS LIKE U THAT THINK THEY ARE SUCH PROFESSIONALS AT WHAT THEY DO IS THE REASON WHY THIS JUSTICE SYSTEM IS SO MESSED UP GET A LIFE AND A NEW FACE U TRAMP

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

    I don't know who's more of a horrid creature, anthony or grace

    July 7, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
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