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. Joe

    Apparently its not ok for the jurors to talk to the news agencies and get any payment for talking about the trial (after they got paid squat for leaving their families and jobs all this time).but its ok for nancy grace to talk sh*! about whatever she wants and make money off dead children every night on her show while making slanderous comments about people that she doesnt know. She's now slandering the jury and taking what theyve said out of context. Im glad to see so many voice their displeasure over nancy grace. cnn, and other news agencies will eventually stop hiring people like this when victims of slander fire back with lawsuits.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      never happen
      it's been tried before and failed

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

      I dont think casey for a second is innocent, but I do believe people like nancy grace help spoil a jury pool by convicting the accused in the media before a trial starts let alone before it's over.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      200 women kill their children in the United States each year. I have yet to hear Nancy speak for any of them. Nancy you do this for ratings period. You could care less about the victims. So far you have been wrong on everything you've indicated in the pass 3 years. You're already a disgrace to your profession. Why anyone in their right mind would listen to anything you say is beyond be. Also to keep calling her tot mom is disrespectful. I'am sure you do not think she deservers respect,,,,,,so my hope is that she takes your sorry a???? to court/ If you're wondering what would be the reason for the lawsuit just check the crap who've been saying for the pass 3 years. y hope is that you get canned. You have nothing to add to the conversation.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    shes a great advocate for missing and murdered children, or making money off of their tragedies? Why's it ok for her, an idiot to make money off of dead children? oh, and dont forget to buy her new book and watch all of her dumb t.v. shows. . . . .

    July 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob B

      Joe, my friend you are so correct, she has her sheep that drink her cool-aid while looking thru her smoke. Nancy "NOSTRILS" Grace (she can pick her nose with her big toe). Criticizing Casey for her appearance, How about her fake freakin' tears when she "ALMOST" had cancer. When Nostril's kid find out that their college funds when assembled off the tragedies of other human beings, wonder how Nostrils will handle that. She is the queen of rude, ego, antagonizing, bully biotch, she just don't get it, she needs something from behind.....................

      July 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mommytoo

    I was just curios, did Casey even say when was the last time she saw Caylee? The only thing I remember her telling her family is that "she doesn't know what happened". I don't understand how can a mom of a 2 yr old doesn't know where she saw her baby last. I am a mother of 18month old baby and my baby comes with me anywhere I go! If she's not with me, its either I left her with my husband(her daddy) or a babysitter. Now, if lets say my daughter becomes missing while I was in the store, then I'd know that she went missing in the store; or if I left her with a babysitter and she went missing then I know that she went missing after I dropped her off with a babysitter. I know she said she left Caylee with Zanny the nanny but that was a lie. So where was the last time she saw Caylee??? Was it in the car? In the store? In their house? With Casey's dad? With Lee? How in the world she wouldn't know where her daughter became missing? If she's innocent, she didn't need to lie.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. michelle

    I think it is sad that the only options for jury in this case were uneducated morons who clearly couldn't understand the evidence. The defense own forensic expert admitted on the stand that there was something decomposing in the trunk of "Tot Moms" car...Tot mom is not a slander by the way....How is that derogatory? I am sad that these jurors couldn't put facts together without someone literally holding there hand through every step...Very Sad...Maybe a high school education should be required to sit on a jury....

    July 7, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Travis Williamson

      The jury did a great job, deciding this case without passion or prejudice. In order to prove first degree murder the state had to prove the manner in which the death occurred, and that she intended the death to occur. Coming up with a theory, must have used too much of something to knock her out is not evidence. It's a nice story, makes for a good movie, but they didn't have any evidence of the cause of death. They offended the jury by seeking 1st degree murder, and the death penalty. It was all down hill for the State after that. I wish CNN would post the full set of jury instructions so you would see what the jury had to find in order to be found guilty with of one of the charges relating to the death. The State just didn't have it, and Nancy, if she was any kind of a lawyer, or advocate for children, should have been harping on that from the get go. The state is going to need more leads to pursue other avenues, because they don't have enough to prove murder. Instead she creates a fairy tale, just like with the facts of her fiancee's death, she just makes it up as she goes along.

      July 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Linda Percy

    Now this trial is over for casey i had been thinking about this and now that she got off. Maybe since the family is kinda dysfuncial dad could of told her in private do what you have to do and say anything to . They had a few days to do this when she got out of jail for those few days. I wonder if it will ever come out how Caylee past.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Maria Tall

    The state has no clue as to how Caylee died but they want the jury to conclude that it was murder and that her mother did it. I thank God for this jury doing their job.

    And, as for "mouth mom" nancy grace, I agree that she is a parasite on on our legal system. Her law school professors should all be fired.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob B

      Ms. Tall, we need to get(all of us) and boycott this virus, She Nancy "Nostrils" Grace (who can pick her nose with her big toe) continues to stretch this out, like ,she needs to make as much as she can for her kid's college fund, off the tragedies of others. If you are a mom yourself, she thinks she is the only woman to ever had kids. what a rude BIOTCH. We should e-mail all her sponsors, that would be justice, for she thinks when here in America, you get arrested you are to be put on death row immediately...................

      July 7, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • France

      Caylee's seed is so sick they can't even agree on how she died.
      The little girl deserved better, any child deserves better.
      The trial is just another reason why the USA is suffering as a country.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ekat

    Nancy, do you know how to say anything but "tot mom." It is so completely irritating, and after listening to the screaming heads (like yourself,) I can't help but to be sympathetic to Casey Anthony.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Maria Tall

    There is a reason that good lawyers call "mouth mom" Nancy Disgrace.

    She is truly a parasite on our legal system.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Guido

    Nancy was sure the Duke lacrosse team was guilty, too. She has no credibility at all.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sonny Rice

    “Tears For CayLee” by Sonny Rice

    I saw your face singing “Don’t Take My Sunshine Away”,
    I ”yuv you Pop Pop” spoken as you colored for your last day.
    I knew you not in life and yet I grieve your loss today.
    My tears flow uncontrollably as new details come my way.
    You started as a missing child newscast over three years ago.
    Your death is still a mystery as truth your mom does forgo.
    Lies told as your frail young body was discarded as trash.
    Eaten by natures creatures as away with pieces they did dash.
    Spread across and beneath the ground, your casket a trash bag.
    Those sparkling eyes missing from a skull with a tape gag.
    That amazing smile replaced with a sticker of a heart.
    No chance for singing or breathing as hope of air did depart.
    You were cast off as if some unwanted thing.
    Not as that wonderful child I saw sing.
    So many of us openly prayed you’d be found alive.
    As your mom wasted months, only your teeth, hair and bone survive.
    JoJo, grandma and Uncle Lee still suffer your mom’s unending lies.
    She blames your death on them and only for herself she cries.
    Never in my long life would I have ever dared too believe,
    That a jury of twelve she would also deceive.
    Your in the hands of our Lord, forever safe from harm now.
    The same Lord mom and the other twelve must answer to, and explain how?
    They all made decision’s on this they will answer for in the grave.
    They answered here “Not Guilty”, twelve decided your mom worthy to save.
    Mom will be wealthy now in dollars, beyond her wildest dreams.
    This is justice here as crazy as it seems.
    So for now on earth she will live very well.
    And her last lie will be in a casket on its way to “HELL!”
    In my prayers you and all the others will always be,
    As well as the knowledge that on earth there is “No Justice For CayLee!”

    July 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ep tor

    I can understand not guilty of murder 1, especially with death on the table. But I can't understand not guilty for child abuse. It was proven that the "baby sitter" didn't exist, she lied about a call from Caylee, she didn't report that her daughter was missing for a month??? And she was found not guilty of child abuse??? Thats absurd.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. France

    The Anthonys have reeked havoc on the average USA citizens. They have brought a dark stain on the USA.
    A child is dead and its seed can't even agree on how it happened.
    Bad, bad, bad for everyone.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Roy

    Do you think it is possible for the feds to file a 1984 violation against Casey for violating Caylee's civil rights? They did it for Rodney King!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dave cook

    Dear Nancy,,enough already with Tot Mom,her name is casey anthony, your viewer are sick of that expresion,all you manage to do is to glorify
    this hole case for rating please stop calling her tot mom like she is some kind of star,i think the media is some what respensible for that verdit by making it holyiwood instead of the real situaion,,Baby Killer,

    July 7, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. 5th Amendment

    Thats right Nancy you horror of a HUMAN BEING Quote an Amendment and them contradict your self by the disregarding another you FISH FACE TROLL!!!!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98