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. Kenny

    Nancy Grace belongs on Fox. Don't understand why CNN would hire such a bias journalist. Criticizing the integrity of the jurors without having been in the deliberations or personally knowing any of them is a classless move! There are few things I find more ironic than a religious person calling out people on "logic". Is it likely Casey killed her daughter? Yes! But is there reasonable doubt? Abso-fig-lutely!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Con

      "reasonable doubt" only to idiots. Come on now dummie's, sing your song, ".........If i only had a Brain........." la la la la

      July 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Con

      YaY FOX !!! 😉

      July 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LWilson

    My question is, who is going to be charged with disposing of human body illegally? Casey says her daughter died in the pool, so she has to an accomplice...or more.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judge Charles Lynch

      The burden of proof is on the accusers. Casey is not required to present an explanation, and those idiot prosecutors rejected that theory so they can't explore it any further. The trial is over and she cannot be retried.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Christina

    Nancy Grace is completely correct and you all know it......Anyone who takes up for Casey Anthony is just trying to get attention. The whole world knows she did and her and the jurors must live with this.....They are technially never free again.....It will always be on their mind..Just another guily idiot and a jury of idiots.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Christina

    The Jurors are the stupidest people ever!!! I can't believe those idiots would ever show their face on TV! How do they sleep?

    July 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ed Peterson

    numerology for Casey Anthony sentencing and her Wednesday July 13th, 2011 release:

    http://edpetersonnumerology.com/2011/07/07/numerology-for-casey-anthony-sentencing-and-july-13th-2011-release/

    July 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sofia

    Its very sad to see the outcome! I really cant belive she got away with murder, any blind person can see that she is soo guilty!! And the fact that some jurors want money for their interview is sick really!! They should give what ever money they get to Crime stoppers or the Amber Alert, thats blood money its Caleeys Blood money!!!!!!!!
    I hope Casey never lives in peace, that where ever she goes she would reconize, we will never forget her stupid face smiling in the court room, just like we will never forget Caleeys sweet smile. =(

    May God bless us all from people like her!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Connie

    It was a bias ,incompetent Jury ,and some of the Jury members were x-criminals .The jury didn't do their job . While we want to cast blame ,you have to cast blame that the Jury refused to do their job and weigh the evidence . Than you had nurses on the Jury who could never send a criminal to the death penalty and no doubt nurses would side with another nurse and they try to save lives not give punishment .

    This jury didn't qualify for a death penalty case and no doubt they lied in the jury selection process . I wouldn't be surprised if some of them plan to cash in on the case . Casey got a Jury of her peers alright ,x-offender ,biased nurses ,while evidence by defense was allowed that played to a fully bias jury .

    The Defense lucked out ,and it was the Defense playing to the Jury of biased Jurors .

    It's just as important to have correct Jury selection as it is to have only evidence allowed in a trial that is relevant to the charges in the case . We got a case that tried the Dysfunctional Family and false Defense pleads of facts not in evidence that biased the Jury .

    Lets stop these Twinkie Case Defenses that the Judicial system has morphed into in the last 20 years that has taken
    the who done it into the realm of what happened in their childhood instead ,or how much the family wants to cover up the crimes of their hell children unleashed on Society .

    July 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. norker

    nancy grace won't be happy, it seems, until we have trial by mob.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lisa Pearcy

    Nancy, thank you for always standing up for that little girl. She deserves justice and I believe the system failed her. I know God is good and he will get his justice. That's how I can rest at night. Thanks again and God bless you.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lawrence

      Are you a disgrace to invoke the Lord's name and talk about justice. Shame on you. You call death sentence justice and have the nerve to call God into it. Go get a life.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Eileen Kosmino

    Nancy Grace 's one sided commentating is so mean spirited, nasty, insulting,and unprofessional, that I cringe from embarassment.She cuts off anybody and everybody that differs with her .That's not right. And this is right–she doesn't give a fig.(lovely!) Jane Velez is probably trained by Nancy–How awful-It seems they relish in people getting in a frenzy over their biased reporting.(encouraging mob mentality).

    July 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. NaRocme

    You talk so much crap about Nancy yet you sit there and watch her show freedom of speech she can say what she wants if you don't one it dont listen and move on this isn't about Nancy it's about a little 2 year old who was murdered named caylee don't gorget that but what mother doesn't report their child missing she did it I don't care what anyone says she's guilty!!!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lawrence

      Thank God i don't watch her show. I stopped after the Chevor case.. She is a joke that pray and many ignorant americans to give ratings to her show. Too bad for the retards

      July 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judge Charles Lynch

      she's guilty!!!!! Five question marks are an unmistakable sign of an insane mind, but I believe you are correct. If she had been charged with stupidly letting her baby die, she'd be looking at fifteen or twenty years right now. Murder was impossible to prove.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Anita Appelhans

    When ABC News pays me as much as they have paid Jose Baez & the jurors for exclusive interviews – I will agree with that bought-and-paid-for verdict, too. C'mon ... only an unexpected & controversial verdict of "not quilty" was going to give ABC News' its money's worth.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. John Herron

    I believe that CNN should fire Nancy Grace. She is obnoxious and tries to prosecute would be defendants on her show. The entire show is an abuse of freedom of the press.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Connie

    Nancy Grace gave attention to a missing child at the time which morphed into a murder case . To blame Nancy Grace is absurd . Nancy Grace is doing a service to Society . Also, Nancy Grace knows how the Judicial system has morphed into
    evidence that has nothing to do with the crimes that Defense Attorney confuse cases with . Victims are not served in a Society that does not render Justice fairly . A fair trial and fair evidence is 2 different things . We have trials in which evidence is allowed that should only be allowed in the sentencing part of a trial ,therefor the Jury is confused on what they are weighing

    " A Society that does not render Justice in a fair and just manner is doomed to fail ."
    Murder is now erased because the family was dysfunctional .

    July 7, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Vsf

    The constant coverage of this case is outrageous. Case is over let's move on. If you truly want to express your sadness for the loss of little Kaylee, do something on her behalf (make donations to charity or advocate for new law). I do not understand why NG criticized Casey for the possiblility of making millions in the future. She (together with other HLN hosts) are responsible for making this woman a celebrity by talking about her case constantly as if she was a celebrity worthy of our attention and time.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pelle

      Excellent points!

      July 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • resa

      Good Point...the media has sensationalized this case, but if it were not for Caseys outrageous behavior in the first place, this would have just been "another tragedy". It has stirred up emotion all over the globe by the media coverage and not just Nancy Grace stirring the pot, but all the medias' coverage. Casey brought all this on herself, and I for one am happy that this has stirred the emotions of the country so we might become pro-active for victims of these hideous crimes against those we love and care for. This is not just Nancys' fight, it should be "OUR" fight!

      July 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grandpa

      I hope CNN is tallying the votes being cast here and acts accordingly......................Nancy the Disgrace YOU'RE FIRED!!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
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