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. canali

    nancy dis-grace = ugly american personified

    July 8, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • HotinSun

      Nany Grace Stop It! You have a duty to be more objective if you really believe in Justice. The media does not have the right to play the 13th Juror. The rights of the accused is as important as the right of the people to bring their accusation and prove their case. Both sides had their day in court – what is the problem?
      Justice only works when you agree with the verdict – Really?

      July 8, 2011 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
    • kevin

      Nancy Grace sucks big balls, i feel really bad for her kids i would be embarrassed to have her as a mother. Like the juror said they didn't show Casey actually killed her.

      July 8, 2011 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. Lisade

    There are some similarities between this case and the Zahra Baker case in the sense that facts where the alleged defendant did things and didn't do things to hinder discovery of the child's body caused the N.C. governor to sign into law criminalizing "dismemberment" of a body to delay discovery of the body to obscure evidence of death. May Florida needs "Caylee's law" criminalizing failure to report a child missing when a child winds up dead, or something along those lines. I really think that is the main cause of most people's outrage is that the child being missing went unreported for 31 days. In Zahra's case it was determined the child had been dead two weeks before someone actually picked up the phone and reported her missing. If Casey Anthony can walk then so can Lisa Baker, we would hope heaven would please forbid that. But as in the Anthony case, seems like Lisa Baker could walk too. Meanwhile the Caylee Anthony's and Zahra Baker's of the world get no justice. Horrible.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. Paul

    Although I do agree the verdict on this case was wrong, I find it appauling how Nancy Grace can continue to banter, rant and rave. I am so tired of listening to her not allowing people to have "their point of view" unless she agrees. Nancy 1 day you wont have the public following you on television, you will be talking to yourself in the mirror. You are a very poor excuse of what journalism is all about

    July 8, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joann Beam

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150249384093555&comments&notif_t=video_comment

    i really hope Casey watches this!!!

    July 8, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dianne

    It boggles my mind how these twelve people could find Casey Anthony not guilty. They cried and were sick to their stomachs. Why? They knew she was guilty. A beautiful child was murdered, bagged up and discarded like trash. They buried their pets in a better manner. The sad fact is there was no justice for Caylee. Hopefully, perjury charges forthcoming for Cindy and George. Maybe get the jurors for them from Orlando, Pinellas didn't have much to offer.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. NANCY.U.R.EXTREMELY.ANNOYING!

    I GUESS WE SHOULD JUST ABOMISH THE CRIM JUSTICE SYSTEM, AND HAVE MOTOR MOUTH NANCY JUDGE & JURY EVERY DEFENDANT AND SENTENCE THEM ACCORDING NOT TO EVIDENCE BUT TO HER OWN OPINION, OH AND ALSO WITHOUT A TRIAL.. GIMME A BREAK NANCY, I HOPE YOU ARE JUDGED ONE DAY BY THE MORAL SINS YOU COMMIT EVERY DAY.. SHAME SHAME SHAME..

    July 8, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
    • KATHY

      NANCY HAS HIT THE NAIL RIGHT ON THE HEAD..WAKE UP CASSEY KILLED CAYLEE AND DUMPED HER IN A SWAMP AND LIED WHILE SHE STOLE CHECKS,DID DRUGS, AND PARTY LIKE SHE DID NOT HAVE A CARE IN THE WORLD,, GUESS JURY DID NOT WANT TO TAKE ANY MORE TIME JUST GO HOME.. SHAME ON THE JURY

      July 8, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. NANCY.U.R.EXTREMELY.ANNOYING!

    ALSO NANCY, I FORGOT TO MENTION, AFTER READING YOUR ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS ABOVE, SEVERAL TIMES, I HAVE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT YOU ARE THEY MOST ARROGANT JUDGEMENTAL SELF SERVING INPROPER JOURNALIST I HAVE EVER SEEN....EVER! A TRUE DIS GRACE TO THE MEDIA AS A WHOLE.. HOPE YOU GET SUED SOMEDAY FOR SOMETHING.. LASTLY..YOU WILL SOON AND INDEFINETLY BE REMEMBERED AS EXACTLY WHAT YOU REALLY ARE.. ARROGANT B!I CH!!

    July 8, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. timwarren82

    Please get rid of Nancy Grace

    July 8, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  9. CoffeePartyMember

    The downfall of Rupert Murdoch's tabloid is a good example for any station who lets Nancy Grace go wild.

    July 8, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. Cynthia

    To all of you who dislike Nancy.....get your own show!!! If you don't like her, change the channel. Personally, she is the only one stepping up to help find those who have been taken against their will and gone missing. Bless you Nancy. I also disagree with the verdict. Now the best thing to do is stop talking about Casey as I am sure this is all going to her head thinking she is so important eventho being notorious is not a good thing. I hope she leaves the country and goes underground. Any company who is interested in making a movie or issuing a book about her should be ashamed of themselves. To allow her to profit from the death of her child is an abomination. I hope Caylee can now rest in peace.

    July 8, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Don

      didn't take much for loud mouth nancy to brainwash you did it? I suggest you quit being lazy, learn the law, and form your own opinions instead of letting people like Nancy tell you what you're opinion should be. Don't be a sheep following the heard.

      July 8, 2011 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
    • enuffisenuff

      Nancy Grace is not welcomed on any of our tv's and my wife can not stand her. She and I are disgusted by the length she will go to get her ratings. She sold her soul to the devil kind of like a false prophet had done.

      July 8, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • enuffisenuff

      Since Nancy and her lynch mob are not in the business for forgiveness...I will support Casey if she writes a book or a made for tv movie because I believe in 2nd chances. That is what Jesus did for all of us. Who hasn't sin cast the 1st stone. I know nobody can't do that because we all have sin at some point in our lives.

      July 8, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. Name Not need

    You're getting Old Nancy, Quit your job while you're ahead.

    July 8, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. Don

    I think Nancy Grace is the epitomy of evil. She's simply a bad person who will one day have to stand accountable for her actions. Anybody who tunes into this woman regularly is just as evil. I pity her in many ways for the sensationalist tactics she uses to garner attention

    July 8, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jean

    I think YOU CNN ARE WRONG ... SHE HAS NO ON HER SIDE OVER THE NEW'S YOU PUT OUT ON HER... WHAT IF HER FATHER REALLY HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITHIS THISS... SHAME ON ALL OF YOU

    July 8, 2011 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  14. lori

    Nancy is a passionate, intelligent women, I agree w/her. I am a mom of two grown children, and a proactive grandmother. I am also a teacher, 3rd grade. The jury in my opinion, was lazy, and yes, ignorant. The jurors should be held guilty of murder, again in my opinion. You see all these people going to jail for less; politics, embezzlement, etc. This women killed her child. Oh, and I also sat on jury as well. It was for embezzlement, we took more time than this jury did. We evaluated every single charge. We voted. We discussed each count, etc. My family and friends are outraged at this outcome. But let us all remember the poor child and what she must have went through her last hours, this is what truly brakes my heart. That poor baby, God bless her, my prayers are with her.

    July 8, 2011 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. Stephen

    Nancy Grace is the Bill O'Reilly of criminal journalism. Lest anyone think that's a compliment, no it's not. Bullying, shooting from the hip, commenting without benefit of facts or logic, Nancy needs to be on Fox, the OTHER Rupert Murdoch rag.

    July 8, 2011 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
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