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. armine

    I have a question to everybody: who has and how was the body of little girl hidden? Nobody talk about that...Casey? George? Who? When?

    July 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • erin

      any chances throwing a dead child in the bushes is illegal?? lets file charges before wednesday.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Bottom line: don't blame the judicial system for failing Caylee Anthony, don't blame Casey Anthony for getting away with it, blame Nancy Grace for preventing justice. Her biased, prejudiced and ignorant remarks on this case that loudly spread her incompetent opinion across America is the sole reason Caylee Anthony will never see justice. Nancy Grace commented that "Caylee Anthony's death is now meaningless and didn't amount to a hill of beans." Congratulations Nancy, her blood is on your hands and your skyrocketing ratings is nothing more than blood money.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • erin

      EXACTLY...where are the charges for that armine? good call, any chance someone in charge will figure it out?

      July 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judge Charles Lynch

      No one knows, and there is no evidence. What was the cause of death? No one knows, no evidence? When did she die? See above. It isn't enough for a murder conviction.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judge Charles Lynch

      Erin, who threw the body there? Casey, her mom, the meter reader? No proof, no charges.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LegalVixen

    I wholeheartedly agree with Nancy Grace!!! Keep it coming, Nancy! I also work in the legal field, have sat in a murder trial, followed the trial, and feel exactly the same way Nancy Grace does! It was a terrible jury - they made a mistake and the people who are criticizing Nancy Grace need to shut their mouths because they obviously don't know any better. Casey is guilty as hell, and for those of you who do not believe that, you're just as stupid as the jurors are!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • yankeeman16

      It's funny how your type just wants everyone that disagrees with you or the "Nancy" types to shut up. Guess what? We have a voice, and we honestly wish you guys would shut up! Your type have wrongly convicted so many that we can't even count them!! Thank you jury for obeying the rules and rightfully finding Casey innocent! Oh, and SHUT UP!!!!!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • margaret

      I agree with you

      you go nancy you speak the truth

      July 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • margaret

      leagalvixen you are so right the people that think the Jury was Right need to have their Head Examined They need to SHUT UP

      YOU GO NANCY

      July 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judge Charles Lynch

      I'll bet the murder trial you saw wasn't as complicated as this one. No witnesses, no cause of death, no actual proof that a murder took place. She was charged with murder, but murder wasn't proved. They failed to charge her on letting her baby die, which they could have proved; after all the child is dead.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. RandomDude

    Wow. What a horrible, sad, miserable human being. I'm glad she's not trying cases. I'll be even more glad when she shuts the hell up and gets a job where she doesn't have a platform to spew ignorance to millions of people. Nancy grace, you're a terrible human being. I hope you write a book and come to my town selling it, so I can look you in the eyes and say, "Shame on you."

    July 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Craig

      Right on Random Dude. Nancy Grace is a miserable human being.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • margaret

      RandomDude where did you go to school stupidville

      July 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judge Charles Lynch

      Her book will be called THE DEVIL IS DANCING TONIGHT. She already said so, and I guess she'd know what he was up to.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. NancyGraceSucks

    Attention Nancy Grace Lovers:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Grace#Prosecutorial_misconduct

    Nancy Grace has ethical issues, certainly apparent when she speaks on TV each time. Those of you who are brainwashed by Disgrace make me sick. You can continue loving the devil; however, do not plan on going to Heaven. God does not forgive those who are evil, Nancy surely knows where she's going in her afterlife. Hell.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnnyonthespot

      you just cited a wikepedia article... for real. I could have written that.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cheri

    I don't think the jury really deliberated. Juror #3 says show me evidence of cause of death, the prosecution did just that. The Jury had questions yet did not ask to see any videos of evidence or audio. With all the evidence presented and witnesses, I feel they had been discussing the case before hand, and ready to go home after being sequestered for so long. I don't think they looked at any evidence that would have answered the supposed questions that she said they had. It is a travesty of justice.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dv727

    Don't believe Satan exists?? What else could take the form of a subhuman like Nancy Grace.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • April

      A real Subhuman is your case is Casey who dumpped Caylee in a pond and let her body rotten to bones while she was busy out party and had "hot body contest" you can be with Casey as you wish. What a loser!

      July 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judge Charles Lynch

      April, it's hard to judge; it's like wholesale and retail. Casey destroyed one life, but Nancy's harmed dozens of people. Melinda Duckett comes to mind, look that one up.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kevin

    Let's see - the 3 cases that Nancy Grace railed against she was wrong on all 3. She ranted about the guilt of the Duke LaCrosse Players for months - whoops. For years, she went on and on nightly about Michael Jackson being guilty– oops. Now she is all over Anthony being guilty - my bad. Fact is, Grace's job is to create interest in her show. To do this she picks a side, sticks to it, and refuses to admit she was wrong. I too think Anthony killed her kid, but the facts and proof given do leave room for reasonable doubt. How can she not see that? She can, but can't admit it because by continuing to rant she gets articles like this & more viewers to her show. That's her job, not honest reporting.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kevin

    Let's see – the 3 cases that Nancy Grace railed against she was wrong on all 3. She ranted about the guilt of the Duke LaCrosse Players for months – whoops. For years, she went on and on nightly about Michael Jackson being guilty– oops. Now she is all over Anthony being guilty – my bad. Fact is, Grace's job is to create interest in her show. To do this she picks a side, sticks to it, and refuses to admit she was wrong. I too think Anthony killed her kid, but the facts and proof given do leave room for reasonable doubt. How can she not see that? She can, but can't admit it because by continuing to rant she gets articles like this & more viewers to her show. That's her job, not honest reporting.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • April

      Thanks for Nancy Grace,a child murderer like Casey can run but she can't hide.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. justiceforcaylee

    After stepping back from my emotions I began to think. Death doesn't mean death anymore. Tot Mom could have spent life on death row in a cell protected and guarded at my expense. Not all cells have bars. Having to look over your shoulder the rest of you life may be the worse sentence for her.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. erin

    any chance throwing a dead child in the bushes is illegal?? hmmm anyone? anyone? maybe we can get charges filed before next wednesday. whats up with the woodsy disposal??

    July 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bob

    And the jury doesn't have to agree with you, follow your instructions. Get a life We r tired fo your pandering

    July 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • April

      I saw a bumper sticker showing OJ and Casey Anthony pictures with the question: WHICH ONE HAS A DUMPEST JURY? My answer: BOTH.
      These jurors should be asked for a competence test before sitting them in court. Just watch the alternative juror Russell Huekler, you can tell what kind of jury they selected on this case!!

      July 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. erin

    kate at 3:53 what are you talking about?? she asks questions, smart ones. are you living on the same planet as the rest of us?

    July 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. cavsdawg

    CNN apparently is looking to corner the market on idiot TV hosts. For Nancy Grace to cite the First Amendment as justification for her on-air judgments is pathetic. The "I can say whatever I want to say because I can" argument is an indictment of CNN's editorial practices and displays a casual disregard for factual content. This country has clearly reached an oversatuation point of media when this approach is not only tolerated, but gets ratings. CNN should be ashamed of its destruction of the concept of news...

    July 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. K. Condon

    The "trial" is over, The "jury" has decided, The "judge" has rendered his sentence. All the armchair quarterbacking in the world will not bring this little girl back. She is gone. It is a tragedy and travesty, that is happening way too often in our world. Casey and her attorney's presented "the defense" designed to get the perpetrator off "scott free". We are misinformed, uneducated, and bewildered on how in the world this could happen. We are outraged, incensed and confused? Not Casey, Not her parents, her brother, Bobo and his "team". The truth was there, but we all including the jurors failed to listen, because they were only told what they were supposed to hear, they way someone wanted it to appear. The only real thing the "public" can do is not allow her to profit in any manner shape or form for our instruction of how to get away with murder, accident or not, and that is to lie, lie, lie and lie about the lies, so we are not believed anymore. Yet the only real trial for her and her family awaits, and this time there will be witness and the testimony of the one who will be passing on them all. Leave the family and even Casey ALONE Get back to your own lives. Get involved in the making the justice system about truth. Which it was intended for not for what it has become.
    People do grieve in very different ways and not all the same and in many different orders. I don't think Casey is grieving. I don't think her behavior for the life before and after Caylee proves that. In order to save her own skin she will throw anyone and everyone under the bus, and she found a lot of help in doing that. The only way not to be "convicted" of a crime is not to be committing a crime. But everything is a crime today, there are too many victims to count.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lois

    This women (girl) killed her child. What's with Casey and her lawyer (lover?) wearing matching color shirts today?
    Did anyone else notice the color? Just wondering.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • armine

      I agree with "lover"- did you pay attention too?!

      July 7, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
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