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. BigRut54

    I'm not a big fan of Nancy Grace at all, but some of the comments some of you are making on here are just as ignorant as her rants on television. Everyone knows that Casey Anthony is guilty, but there was not enough evidence to prove conclusively that Caylee's death was by her hands. I guaranty that she will not make it very long after she gets out of jail, she'll be on tv once again, except this time its going to be because someone is going to exact their vigilante justice upon her and give her a small taste of the pain that her daughter went through. Do I think she's guilty... let's just say her and OJ could be members of the same club. But the bottom line is she was found not guilty based on the evidence presented which I unfortunately have to agree that there in fact was reasonable doubt as to her committing this murder and the jury came to the correct decision based on that evidence. You have to realize people that as badly as the majority wanted this girl to fry, personal feelings and emotions cannot have any part in deciding the fate of an individual.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. David

    Nancy Grace may good in rating for CNN, but is disservice for the American justice.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. Eric

    I like Nancy very much but she really offended me and I would love to confront her – she keeps making these absurd remarks about a "problem juror," with a DUI. I unfortunately also have a DUI on my record but I am NOT a "problem," person! I graduated college in the top percentage of my class, I've worked hard my entire life, I donate a lot of money to many charities & organizations for people & animals, I've volunteered, and the private high school I went to taught us to be "men for others." My parents raised me in a very loving environment with rules, structure, and accountability. I consider myself a great citizen. I could write a book about DUI laws – my state has a .08 law. I'm atheletic, 6-foot, 215 lbs. ALL i had was just 2 mixed drinks at dinner within a 1.5 hour time frame. Apparently that made me over .08. I did a rolling stop at a stop sign and got pulled over. I was NOT drunk at all – completely fine with NO impairment at all. For some reason cops always ask you if you've been drinking. I said yes – I had 2 drinks and it went from there.
    For Nancy to sit there and make it sound like someone with a DUI is a criminal or a "problem," well you can go pound sand Nancy! That is very unfair and rude!

    July 7, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. aj

    If that pompous-ass Grace misses the courtroom and the "instant gratification" (or as we in the real world call it, that junkies high), then she should do us all a favor and go back. TV is full of so called journalist now days who are no more than attorneys who could'nt hack it in the courtroom and chose the limelight of television to spew their BIASED propaganda, i.e. Fox news. This system isn't perfect but it is the BEST in the world. Understand this though, just as the guilty are sometimes set free, innocent men have also been put to death in this country. But, you never hear prosecuters admitting their mistakes one way or the other, it's always someone elses fault. WHA, WHA WHA Nancy.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. answer

    Do you know for If does that?

    July 7, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. Real News Please

    Will we ever get back to objective news reporting instead of Jerry Springer scripted reality show entertainment to keep the ignorant masses subdued? Can we hear what we need to know, instead of what someone thinks we want to know or worse what they want us to know, so they can sell more commercial air time.

    I am just as sad as anyone else about the fact that we may never know what happened to Caylee and who did it, but the sensational just throw everything on the wall and see what sticks in the viewers minds by news people, law enforcement, citizens, prosecutors, defenders, politicians, advetisers, promoters, religious leaders etc. etc. etc., does nothing but divert everyone from the true issues at hand, as intended.

    What ever happened to the who, what, where, when, how and why I learned in journalism class? Is replacing it with glitzy convenient selacious slander that can be quickly squeezed between commercials all we'll ever have to look forward to? If not can we force them to stop calling the News Media and force them by truth in advertising, to call theirselves Opinion Media.

    Pesonally, I'd rather hear the facts and make my own mind up, rather than hear the facts of people who think they have a right to make my mind conform to theirs and portray theirselves as objective journalists. Let those who believe reality shows are real and not scripted, watch them instead of the news if they need such selacious trivia to make their life complete. Stop flooding the news with it. Everyone has freedom of speech, but journalists are supposed to have an obligation to report the news, not make it.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. enuffisenuff

    I hope the narcissistic Grace is reading this and gets a clue that she is the most disliked person on HLN. Please CNN executives fire her today to save face before your network goes down the Nancy Disgrace toilet. I rather watch Snooki over this opinionated goon.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • S2

      During the Elizabeth Smart case, when suspect Richard Ricci was arrested by police on the basis that he had a criminal record and had worked on the Smarts' home, Grace immediately and repeatedly proclaimed on CourtTV and CNN's Larry King that Ricci "was guilty," although there was little evidence to support this claim. She also suggested publicly that Ricci's girlfriend was involved in the cover-up of his alleged crime. Grace continued to accuse Ricci, though he died while in custody.[24]

      It was later revealed that Smart was kidnapped by Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee, two individuals with whom Richard Ricci had no connection

      July 7, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. CARBY

    NANCY, can the state come in and do their own investigation through a grand jury? The fact remains that Caylee is dead – although I know her own mother killed her, there should be another investigation, bring in Casey with NO fifth amendment pleading.....and maybe this time.....maybe this time....

    July 7, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. Name*Marilyn

    If CAsey did not kill CAley then who did? What happened to her? This whole family have the answer but it is sad that there was and probably there will not be justice for this little girl. Casey had incriminating behavior for sure but there was not one piece of evidence linking her to the crime. Is just really weird that the police and detective can find clues for murders that happened 20 years ago without a body but for this little girl they can't find out, not enough evidence it is very strange.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. John J. Deltuvia, Jr.

    If Counselor Grace believes that the prosecution presented an inadequate case, then she – as a sworn officer of the Court in Georgia and DC – should be seeking an investigation by Florida Bar authorities of the possible malfeasance of the prosecutor, and the prosecutor's removal from the Bar. She has freedom of speech – but she's also sworn to uphold the ethics of the US legal system. Let her comply with that oath by laying blame where blame is due: the prosecutor, not the jury.

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

    Hey Nancy, you couldn't have won this case had you been the Prosecutor. So shut up please.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. sally

    I read that the FBI could bring charges against Casey because it was 31 days till she reported Caylee missing. Is this true, and if so, any idea how long this could take

    July 7, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  13. JR

    Nancy Grace, I think you are a miserable, opinionated wretch who should be sued under the FLA defamation per se statutes and publicly reprimanded as you are cast aside jobless. I also think the best way to handle this TV troll is to stop watching her broadcasts, as well as HLN, altogether. Show them we don't appreciate ignorant rants, people, or ideas.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • mercurycat

      I completely agree! HLN must lose a lot of viewers who aare in the habit of changing the channel when that nasty hag starts talking. I honestly wish there were grounds to sue her by those she defames.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dave

    It is amazing to me how readily the press and the public jump to assumptions. The jury did not say she wasnt innocent, they said the state didnt prove its case. There is a huge difference. I worked as a correctional deputy for 10 years and would only say that ,Mr Anthony should have been investigated further, Casey had to learn deception from someone. Dad should have been in a chair right besid his daughter. Now, since the court of public opinion didnt get their way, its boo hoo on the television. Your extreme biast has lost this viwer.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. SloachesFunhouse

    First off, I did not follow this trial, nor did I have a desire to...As it was, all I had to do was click on any news site and there was more than enough info...Having said that, I did know that this case was of particular interest to Nancy Grace, so I could just imagine the type of sensationalism she would present (see the Duke Lacrosse case)...Trust me, I've been well aware of Nancy Grace and her self-aggrandizing for many years, not to mention her own embellishments of her "personal tragedies" that led her to being a lawyer...The death of Caylee Anthony was nothing more than a ratings machine to this woman...Honestly, do you think (on a personal level) Nancy gave more than a passing thought to the loss of this childs' life? Her refusal to call Casey Anthony by her name, constantly referring to her as "tot-mom", shows how trivial the reality of this case was/is to her...Nancy Grace is as much a journalist as the phone-hackers at News Of The World...

    July 7, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
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