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. newlifehawk

    Totally agree with every word! Keep up the great work you are doing, Nancy!

    July 8, 2011 at 4:33 am | Report abuse |
    • GooberJuice

      Im doo dooing.

      July 8, 2011 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
    • old bull

      Get out more turn the T.V. off and think for yourself!

      July 8, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Y

      Well said @newlifehawk

      July 8, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Matthew

    I think it is interesting that she quotes the First Admendment stating that she has freedom of speech, so long as it isn't deflamatory towards another... Then she states that "Tot mom murdered her daughter." in spite of being acquited of the charges. Frankly, I hope tomorrows headline is "Tot mom files charges against Nancy Grace!" Not because I believe she is innocent, but because I think Nancy Grace knows better, and is an opportunist that needs to get knocked down a peg or two.

    July 8, 2011 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
    • W B Freeman

      Nancy Grace needs to be TERMINATED for her incendiary behavior. They don't make anti-snake venom strong enough to protect against her poison. Fire the witch or seriously risk losing another loyal CNN viewer! WB.

      July 8, 2011 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • lotusjani

      Casey is guilty of not reporting the death of her little girl IF it was an accident. Nancy Grace is a reporter just like the rest of them that also have their own opinions. Grace could care less who likes her or not. She comes on strong many times and is rude to her guests, but so what? She is an advocate for Caylee and that is good enough for me. The rest of you, go suck your thumb!

      July 8, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. ASD

    I believe in the jury system. If Grace truly believes that a case is decided at the time a jury is selected, then it really is irrelevant to her what evidence is presented, how much evidence, etc...instead it is a chess game....Shame she is so jaded and looks at law as a sport.

    July 8, 2011 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
    • wondering - reply to ASD

      You are entirely correct, ASD. Furthermore, the news " celebrities " hold far to much sway over public opinion in this country. In past years, before the news media had to fill 24 hours per day, a newsperson would be fired for expressing opinions or even appearing to do so. This individual was found not guilty by a jury, after a month long trial, and the prosecution had THREE YEARS to build a case. It is time for the public to make opinions based on fact and all sides to the storiy, instead of just listening to the media circus.

      July 8, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Kayla

    I wish wish wish that one of the jury member's would let Nancy interview or question them... Nancy would tear them to shreds!!!!

    July 8, 2011 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Harry the Ho~Mo Humper

      No she wouldnt.

      July 8, 2011 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ryan

    I don't agree with the jury either. But, I also do not agree with Nancy Grace turning this horrible ordeal into pop culture, while slapping her brand on the whole matter and marketing it for her own fame. I swear if I had to hear her say the retarded "Tot Mom" name that she gave Casey, I was going to scream. "Tot Mom"? Really? Nancy Grace sucks at life.

    July 8, 2011 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
    • me too!

      I tried to watch Nancy Grace yesterday but that damn "tot mom" got on my nerves and I turned it off. Calling her a "mom" at all is ridiculous, as real moms don't murder their children.

      July 8, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  6. old bull

    And I refuse to think that Nancy Grace is correct in her "Verdict". She sells hate so her advertisers can sell cars so she can stay on the air. That is her reason for being. She is completely irrelevant. Turn her off and don't let her sell you anything.

    July 8, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      You are one in about 5% (estimate based off of surveys, and that's pushing it) that believes Nancy is "incorrect". Everyone else, including the jurors who have spoken, believe that Casey was "not guilty but not innocent", just that there wasn't enough evidence to convict her of the charges she was facing.

      Nancy Grace has a strong opinion – no doubt – and it's caused a lot of people to dislike her, but ultimately she was defending a CHILD that was killed, and the mother was certainly involved. Nancy should not be insulted for her passion to find Caylee justice simply because her newscasts were predominantly displayed; she did not falsify information and stayed true to the facts.

      July 8, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. WilemWalace

    CNN interviewing a CNN talk show host is not news, it's marketing. this post is called damage control...CNN knows they have a problem with the three years of character assassination via the unGrace after such a quick (and easy) verdict to the contrary. this posting distances unGrace from the CNN team...that unGrace is personally responsible and not the network.

    wag the dog journalism....or, in the case of American journalism, it's wag the hog.

    I love her quote "The only thing I would’ve done differently is put on my hip boots and gone down to Florida and looked for Caylee myself." she had sufficient time to make that decision and join in the search....simple theatrics.

    July 8, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • lotusjani

      So why do you watch her? Channel 32 and 35 also covers the case, channel 39, and reporters are also passionate in their opinions, but Mrs. Grace has the guts to tell it like it is. Whether you like or not, this was a not an educated jury, 11 hours in two days and a verdict? I wonder if they were talking recipes or movies and five minutes later, oh yes! NOT GUILTY! are you freaking kidding me?

      July 8, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. james

    fire nancy grace. i hate her and her useless onesided close-minded opinions. she is the perfect example of rotten personalities degrading this world into a pool of filth.

    July 8, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Orifice Roberts

      Put her in a slaughterhouse cleaning up all the doo doo.

      July 8, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. Lilly

    HLN should think about replacing Grace. Her show isn't about the criminal justice system-it's about a vigilante justice system where facts are distorted and the truth is lost. I think replacing her with Jeff Ashton would be terrific. Maybe then her viewers would learn something else besides how to shriek and flare ones nostrils.

    July 8, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jon

    Nancy Grace: I don't have to agree with Casey Anthony jury

    Jon: I don't have to agree with Nancy Grace

    Boom! Roasted...

    July 8, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. TH

    I understand not given her the Death Penalty, but not guild of child endangerment ? NO. She got everyone fooled including the Jury, Look at her now, all self assured with her long hair down, always making sure everything is in place, she knows she is being televised. She is a cold repulsive liar, Let's not let the like or dislike for Nancy Grace cloud anyones judgement. I just hope she pays for every expense incurred because of her lies. I also hope people will not ask her for interviews, she deserves none when she refused to testify. Now she can go on and write a book on how she did it just like OJ. But, wait, look at where OJ is now, perhaps there will be some justice for Caylee after all!

    July 8, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jersey Joe

    Alex Bennett, a cable talk show host, says: Nancy Grace is a ghoul making money off of dead babies. Enuf said.

    July 8, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. jambones

    Nancy Grace is a disgusting imbecile. It is a sad sign of the times that such a stupid blowhard would be on any station claiming to bring "news". She needs to be removed pronto then I will start to watch HN again. She has no business spouting off her idiotic opinions, she is street trash and has no business being anywhere near any respectable news room.

    July 8, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. john filmer

    i can't even stand to look at her speak, her body language is horrible and she is so god dam ugly.

    July 8, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. sean

    Believe what this woman believes or she will set her sites on you. Media versus truth.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
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