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. Nancy Disgrace

    Nancy Grace is a disgrace and CNN HLN is just as bad for continuing to allow her to rant and rave. I predict that she will continue with her rants until some psycho nut out there goes and does harm to or murders Casey or Cindy or George Anthony. Then she will finally have accomplished her mission to be Judge, Jury and Executioner as the blame for that injury or death will at least partially rest on her (and HLN's) shoulders. If you really want to see who Nancy Grace is, google her and read her bio on Wikipedia, especially about the prosecutorial misconduct while she was a lawyer and about the Duckett suicide. Definitely a disgrace.

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

    Nancy,

    PLEASE, if you miss the courtroom so much, go back. Get off a NEWS network. You are the legal version of Sean Hannity re-writing the facts the way you want them. You say the jury hamstrung the State? The jury made the State meet their legal obligation to "prove beyond a shadow of a doubt." Before you slide a needle in someone's arm, I would hope to Heaven that you are darn well sure this is the person what done it.

    And the jury said the Prosecution did not do that. They did not find her innocent. They found the charges unproven. If you were all that as a prosecutor, you would still be sitting behind a wooden table. But now you are on the air late at night because HLN needs filler.

    You said you would like to see her admit to her guilt and go to jail. Hey Nancy, you must be a great lawyer to have forgotten a little thing called double jeapordy. No, it is not a game show.

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

      Well said Mark!

      July 7, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • mercurycat

      You know that old saying "those who can do, and those who can't teach"? In this case, those who can't talk about it on TV all day. Nancy Grace is a disgrace to the legal system (assuming she really has a law degree) and an embarrasment to herself. When she was so sure there would be a conviction of first degree murder in this case, we had the greatest legal system in the world. However when things didn't go her way, now all she wants to do is dissect and trash this jury. If Nancy, Vinnie, Jane, and all the rest of these talking head yahoos really cared about seeking justice for crime victims, they'd get off the tube and join a prosecutor's office. I only wish there was a legitimate network to watch trial coverage on, instead of having to be constantly bombarded by biased pr-prosectution opinions.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Fly Guy in SJ

      @Mark

      The state does not have an obligation to prove its case beyond the shadow of a doubt. You seem to be as clueless as the jury. The state has an obligation to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The problem here was that she got an OJ jury: dumber than rocks.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jill Longo

    Nancy I have been right with you watching this trial. I agree with you whole heartedly. I don't care what an old man says who likes to flip the bird. To bad we could not empose the same on him as Judge Perry gave the spectator who did it in court. I also over heard on the view the other day some gossip I think slipped out of Joy Behars mouth that did not surprise me at all I love you Nancy you are the most caring person on tv, you and Vinnie at least I think it was Vinnie who got so emotional about the verdict. That is being a true reporter and one who is not shy about showing their feelings. The verdict was wrong she did it and I firmly believe what goes around comes around

    July 7, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • NancyGraceSucks

      ...and YOU'RE AN IDIOT!

      July 7, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  4. PSN

    @Snoop:

    "How do you know she was a "precious little angel"? For all you know, she was a holy terror and spoiled brat.

    So if she were a "holy terror and spoiled brat," would it be more acceptable for her to be murdered? Nice.

    "The prosecution would have been high fiving in the courtroom.

    I didnt watch the trial. I have a job and a life. Try getting one or both."

    You "have a job and a life," and yet you're sitting here reading the comments and making multiple comments yourself.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. ck

    Lets see Duke lacrosse case, "Tot Mom", if it were up to Mrs. Grace the defendants from both of these case would have been thrown in jail before a trial. Go away Nancy, far,far away.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason Holden

      Oh Nancy hates that four letter word: DUKE!

      July 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. RickNToronto

    The Police and Prosection failed to provide evidence beyond the reasonable doubt of the jury.

    It's no good bashing the jury ... they just are what they are.

    I agree that court processes should be open, transparent and a lively debate is a sign of health.

    I don't like the idea of whipping up vigilanty style fervour amongst a populace unqualified or insufficiently informed to comment... at times... the sound bite style of the reporting and the clamour to be a commentator on CNN contributed to that ignorant fervour.

    Ultimately... We have courts to prosecute ... it shouldn't be done by the media.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  7. Sel

    @Snoop No child is a perfect little angel, but even if Caylee did have any bratty moments, she didn't deserve what happened to her. Not by any means. I truly hope the logic to your statement, wasn't coming from the path it could appear to be. Personally, I don't think it would be in good taste, for either side to celebrate, no matter the outcome. What brought all this on in the first place, was the life of a child lost. Despite being glad "justice was done", which ever way you would view that justice as being, some humility and reservation should be shown, on Caylee's account.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. Heather Pepper

    God Bless you Nancy Grace! You are a beautiful person!

    July 7, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. Connie

    I live, Love, LOVE YOU NANCY GRACE!!!!!! You rock, girlfriend!! Keep on fighting the good fight! The ONLY people who will disagree with or have a problem with your honesty are those that, themselves, have something to hide, find themselves on the wrong side of the law (or have loved ones that do) or simply are self centered in life, so they can't understand your passion for others. I think what you do is amazing and appreciated by millions, so keep up the Great work!!! xoxo

    July 7, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. NB

    You are outspoken to the point of trying ton encite a riot. Your Opinions should not be judgement of the accused. Go back to the court room and get off TV I believe everyone would be much happier except for your clients. Your appearance on HLN, CNN are a disgrace to the networks. That is my opinion.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. Michael Goodman

    I was wondering why Nancy doesnt practice law anymore if she misses it so much? I would guess money would have to be a factor.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. daisy

    The jury's decision was based on the fact that the state could not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Don't blame the jury, Nancy.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. NancyGraceSucks

    Those of you in love with Nancy Disgrace should all be loaded on a boat with Nancy on a one-way trip to China! Your Communist views will be embraced there, they are sure as hell not needed in my country! Better yet, send y'all to Antarctica!

    July 7, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Boheme

    Anyone getting religious-like orgasm over Nancy Grace should keep in mind her main job by CNN bosses is to hustle as many commercials as possible, everything else is of secondary nature. To that she deserves credit – successful commercial trumpheteer, just like the late product-endorsement guru that died of drug overdose.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • NancyGraceSucks

      Well-said Boheme. It truly is the same difference, MONEY!

      July 7, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. Trina

    God bless you Nancy! It is great to have someone not afraid to speak their personal and professional opinion. I am heartbroken for Caylee. I was a single mother to a little girl at the age of 22 and I could never imagine doing anything hurtful to my daughter so that I could live up the night life.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • NancyGraceSucks

      ...and, YOU'RE AN IDIOT!

      July 7, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
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