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. Gloria

    Motor Mouth: No more "TOT MOM". Enough already.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • HotinSun

      So many rocks thrown from glass houses. Anyone posting, including Nancy Grace would seek the help of a defense attorney if accused of a crime. My discouragement with Nancy Grace is that she seems to have forgotten that the rights of the accused to a defense is just as important as the right of the state to prosecute a criminal in good faith.

      Nancy Grace needs to stop playing the 13th Juror. It undermines and does not serve Justice.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sorry4TheLittleGirl

    I'd pay money to watch Nancy Grace do Karate on Ms. Anthony!

    July 7, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nomi

    I am appalled at the verdict in this case. The Prosecution, in my opinion did an excellent job. All things(eivdence, etc)pointed to noone but Casey Anthony. I think the entire group of Prosecutors did an excellent job all around. AND coming from me, that is a compliment...I am not keen on Prosectutors per se, because my sister was convicted in a tragic family event, on much less than they had on Casey. She was never considered innocent, from day one. Unfortunately, she had a judge who is known to be pro-prosecutor, and a state appointed attorney, who was a mouse, compared to the spitfire female D.A. In fact the state I'm in is pro-prosecutor. I have read about, and heard a lot of trials, I thought the defense was a batch of confusion, that made no sense at all. I thought the lawyers did everything they could to confuse people, and apparently, they succeeded with the 12 who decided this case. I think its a discredit to the Judicial System that this happened. I think that may have been a factor in this weird verdict. There has been no justice for that precious little girl...however her Mom got her wish...now she can be a party girl, with no little Caylee to cramp her style. Ever since my sister's unfair conviction, I have had very little confidence in the "justice" system. This "circus" allowed to go on by the defense lawyers in this case, has not elevate my opinion, any, at all. What a shame for that adorable little girl. I see this as a travesty, and this precious child was by no means a "winner" in it.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • HotinSun

      I understand your frustration but your depiction of the defense in this case is not exactly objective. As cooler heads prevail it becomes clear that the verdict is not reflective of the performance of the prosecution. It is simply a matter of insufficient EVIDENCE to support the charges.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ann Malec

    Casey was known as a party girl. Do you think on June 16, 2008 she may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol that impaired her judgement and something bad happened?

    July 7, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Katherine

    I enjoyed today's interview of Nancy Grace in John King. Nancy was straight and brilliant with her comments and answers specially when asked about negative opinions from the public and others towards her. Nancy, we admire you and follow you anywhere because you care and you say it like it is!

    July 7, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lindsey bales

    casey anthony got away with murder! she killed her little girl. then when she got the verdict back she cried for herself. you never seen her cry over her baby girl being dead. she is sick, but that is not a reason to kill your little girl. i am sick this whole country is sick over this. but you know it doesn't matter that the jury didn't do the right thing. she will one day have to answer to God for what she has done. and when that happens i sure am going to be glad i'm not casey anthony having to answer to God for killing my own child. but then again if i was casey anthony i wouldn't have drugged duck taped and threw my baby girl in the mud and diry and then go lay up with my boyfriend and not think again about it. one things for sure there is no justice in this world. well at least not for caylee anthony,

    July 7, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • HotinSun

      I agree that this case is tragic and perhaps in civil court she may be found liable. But please do not continue to accuse and defame someone that exercised their rights to face their accuser and confront the evidence against them. The jurors did not feel that the evidence supported and accusation of murder, even if there was a cover-up of a terrible accident. Manslaughter and Murder are two different things "just saying"

      July 8, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  7. doug

    though i do think casey had something to do with her daughters death, the jury did a great job in the verdict because there was no concrete evidence. And nancy grace scares me, she was naming off the jurors on her show after the verdict like some hit list.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. FOCUS ~ GUILTY PARENTING

    Is Casey responsible for the rearing of Caylee especially the care, love, and guidance given by a parent....Neglect must have taken place some time before the thirty or so days took place... what's up with that.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mollie massa

    There should be a law about not reporting your child missing for 30 something days. The punishment should be as much as murder of a child.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • JNAP

      Mollie – Perfectly said. End of story right there.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nadia

    Nancy,
    I'm sick, there is a village missing their 12 idiots! juror 3 who stated she could not understand how the chloroform got from one place to the other so that made it an "accident" really??? you never took notes, or Meticulously go over the Evidence and take the time to understand what really happened, last time i checked with common sense finding a triple bagged body in a wooded area never equated to an accident!! it was clear they wanted to get this over with so 11 short hours later they sucker punched us.
    I hope everyone who can, will pull a "Goldman" on her, OJ might have gotten away with murder but the Goldmans made sure he went through a revolving door of the justice system and pay.... I hope Casey does not gain a cent off of this so I hope the state hits her so hard with a bill she won't have a lifetime to ever pay it off and the Grunds, Zenaida and anyone else who got sucked in take a number and collect.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • HotinSun

      the greatest Justice System in the world only works when you agree with the verdict. Really?

      July 8, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. Sad example of a real journalist !

    Just another bad reality show host, making the most of fanning the flames instead of reporting the news. HLN the garbarge jump of bad journalism and Nancy Grace host.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mark

    Trials should not be a public display. that is why they have court rooms and jurors. Nancy Grace is performing a witch hunt, and Nancy Grace is the witch.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. yvonne thompson

    i just want to let you know nancy you are great for what you are doing for caylee. I have been watching this trial from the start and i can not see why the jurors came up with what they did they did not look at the whole picture. I know myself i am not a person that cares about the prosecutions side just because of personal reasons but on this case they proved that she was quilty i just think that they were done and did not want to be there anymore cause the one juror got on tv and said she did not know who would be considered caylee caregiver hello she left with caylee that day and was the last person to see her alive did they not hear that part, i do not know if i would say she should have been put to death but she sure should have spent the rest of her life in prison, but i think now it is in gods hand and carma is a bad thing to mess with. And the way she acted towards her brother there is something more going on there that no one is talking about that is why the defensive team did not go after him like they did the rest of the family keep up a good job nancy

    July 7, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeannie

    Sounds like the jurors were picked from the dregs of society. I doubt there is one brain cell among the 12 of them. God Bless Nancy Grace!

    July 8, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  15. Linda2148

    Please Nancy, you need to leave your show and just take care of your kids. You are too invested in this case and have let ratings and your opinions influence your behavior. You have spewed anger, hatred and prejudice on air until your viewers have worked themselves into a frenzy. Please leave. Please!!

    July 8, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
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