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. JH

    Thank you Nancy Grace...too bad you weren't the prosecutor! I'm hoping some wacko kidnaps Casey when she's freed, tapes her mouth shut, breaks every bone in her body until there's no need for suffication, then throws her in a remote area, and then goes out and parties and gets a tattoo!

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

      That's insane. What a sick fantasy. I'm having you traced right now.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • CanadaJeff

      Get help

      July 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judge Charles Lynch

      Please don't talk that way; we are Americans together here and the law is the jewel in our country's crown. When a court has ruled, we must support its decision even if we don't like it. Don't incite or provoke violence.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • deathpenaltyimmoral

      ur one sick person that needs years of therapy

      July 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. I, the jury

    What will Nancy do while waiting for the next big case "with legs" for her to show off her wisdom and morality? What if nothing happens? What WILL she do? A true social parasite, Nancy feeds off the misery of others and turns it into entertainment for the masses. CNN is the perfect host for this sort of arangement.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judge Charles Lynch

      I think she will investigate herself to death if no external challenge comes along to divert her.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Connie

    Now we get a murderer who might actually have children again and harm them . At least if she had been properly convicted another child might not have a crazy parent in the future .

    The mother of Casey refused to disclose the abuse of the child that she knew was present . The family lied to cover up her offenses . This case is a testimony to how bias family testimony is . The jury should of weighed that ,but this jury
    believed that George was covering up something . Of course the parents where covering up their murderous daughters
    actions ,not a pool accident . Cindy wiped down the car when it was returned ,Cindy lied in Court that she made the
    computer searches .

    This is also a testimony to the fact that people who knew Casey refused to give true testimony to everything they knew about this hell person . Of course a pathological liar is going to con everyone . This time she went to far with her crimes
    as most cold-blood psychopaths do .

    July 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
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    July 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. AM

    After reading some of the comments on this page, I've confirmed what I was telling my co-workers about too much media coverage for court cases. Regardless of the outcome of this case, it's unfair to be on TV every night simply blasting away at people who have not yet been found guilty. In reference to the Anthony case, if the media knew that she was guilty, then why did the media not present the evidence necessary to get the conviction? All this media frenzy about the court case is only inciting violence towards those whom have not yet been tried in a court of law. If something horrible happens to Casey Anthony once she is free, you can blame the media for having caused it by hanging her like a lynch mob before the courts were ever able to figure out what actually happened. In the end of all things we need only to answer to the great maker of everything.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judge Charles Lynch

      Please do not associate my good name with that awful Nancy Grace, whose grasp of the purpose of Law in Society is tenuous at best and possibly non-existent. No one should ever take the law into their own hands once a legal court has ruled.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CriticalThinkingPowersActivate

    Wow! I am appalled at the state of affairs humanity and our nation as a whole is in right now and it is unbelievable that a woman, Nancy Grace, at one time seemingly had much potential, can get on national television and mesmerize the masses into emotional hysteria. She has launched a campaign against this woman from the beginning, “GUILTY BECAUSE I SAY SO!!” And many have bought in forgetting our judicial process. Not to mention the moral judgments. What would this look like if everyone would polish out all the dings in their armour before annihilating this woman? Yes, she is guilty of many things but almost every person that is casting insane dispersions was not there and does not know what happened and until they become omnipotent and can foretell such information should keep their mouths shut. This is a personal family matter that should be between the Anthony’s and the court system. The public has much displaced anger that truly should be directed toward the media and Nancy Grace that is fueled by negative emotions. It is true, a horrible tragedy has occurred. A young baby’s life has been taken and someone should be held accountable for that. But the truth has to be uncovered and proven first and as of right now it has not. We are not medieval anymore people! For years the media and so called “expert political pundits” have promised “she is going down” and it didn’t happen. And guess what, who’s to blame for that? Ask Nancy Grace? Everyday several innocent children are horrible abused, killed and tortured but immoral, vigilante journalists do not sensationalize it on national television. The sensationalism must stop and we as a society need to express more compassion and tolerance for the human condition!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • resa

      Casey Anthony inserted herself into the spotlight by her outlandish lies and deceptions. She, through her deceptions and lies watched while good caring people from around the country braved the heat, humidity, bugs, underbrush,"snakes" to hunt for this child out of concern for the Anthony family, so they would not have to suffer in this alone. To show support for this "kidnapped" child. Why pick on this poor woman who just lost her child? Please! Please! Please! I guess you have forgotten the facts! Don't blame this on Nancy Grace. Casey herself did it all alone! She had zero concern for anyone but Casey. Just nevermind, I won't argue or try to reason with ignorance anymore! Enough said.....

      July 8, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  7. CanadaJeff

    Wow....that's quite disturbing....seek therapy....

    July 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jessie

    Nancy Grace looks like Petrie from The Land Before Time, wait! Petrie is cuter but you get it! Nacy Grace your a disgrace!!!!!!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kaka

    Nancy! Nicely spoken! I agree with you!

    July 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. lilome

    Sorry, Nancy. The jury got it right. Not saying Casey is innocent. I certainly do not believe she is innocent. But you cannot put a person to death based on what you believe happened. It must be proven beyond reasonable doubt and the prosecution FAILED.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Terry Hubener

    It's a shame she got away with murder! I am surprised the Jury thought she did nothing wrong regarding her daughter. She even said she had spoken to Caylee on the 15th of July, she lied and lied and she con her lawyers and all members of the Jury. She even had a fake face when her lawyers were talking about her, poor innocent thing indeed. Mothers and daughters are historically known to have difficult relationships, books are written on the subject, I did not see anything on Cindy that led me to believe she was mean to Casey, if anything she always covered for her. I wonder if was not Casey putting the word our about her mother to others or if they actually see this happening in person.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bill

    What a stupid bunch of jurors. I could see not giving her the death penalty, but to let her go free now? Now they have to live with the guilt. Casey and her lawyers may be celebrating now, but truth won't be evasive from God in the end. God bless you Nancy (for staying on top of this), My wife & I love you.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JalenDUI

    reporters around the courtroom described the people there as a LYNCH MOB. One psychologist said that once the feeling of euphoria of being free again wears off that it will replaced with a feeling of fear....fear that there are people who want street justice and won't be satisfied until they get it.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. GreekJudge

    "The devil is dancing", indeed! With followers like Nancy Grace! Lady, spare us the theatrics if you can't shed a tear!

    July 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. working

    yes right get a JOB and you wouldnt be sooo effin consumed in this DRAMA

    July 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
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