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. Stephanie Davis

    THANK YOU NANCY FOR TAKING A STAND...DONT LISTEN TO THE GARBAGE..YOU HAVE DONE A GREAT JOB TRYING TO PROTECT CAYLEE'S MEMORIES...IF IT WAS'NT FOR YOU I THINK MOST PEOPLE WOULD HAVE FORGOTTEN THIS CASE. SO...PLEASE STAY STRONG IN YOUR CONVICTION....100% casey MURDERED HER CHILD...I HOPE SHE IS NOT ALLOWED TO PROFIT...CAN SHE GET A GAG ORDER ? THE DEFENSE IN THIS CASE DID AN AWFUL JOB...BUT WE GOT NOT SO SMART JURORS...THE PROSECUTORS ON THE OTHER HAND PROVED THEIR CASE...COME ON NANCY AMERICA KNOWS AND CHENEY MASON AND BOAZ( IF I SPELLED HIS NAME CORRECTLY) THAT SHE DID THIS AWFUL CRIME..)

    July 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • PMD

      For everyone I see on this comment section that is thoroughly disgusted with N. Grace (and Valez-Mitchell, too), here's an idea. Send your comment where it may do some good like I just did. Log onto: cnn.com/feedback/hdlns/ and provide your constructive criticism to the network and ask that they remove these two annoying and incompetent people off the air.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • fayse

      Nancy Grace is a disgrace. Someone at HLN should shut her up. She is going to cause a riot and people may get hurt. Nancy Grace has been fueling the fire of hatred for a very long time. One of her former guests even committed suicide because of this horrible person. She has used her twins to pretend that she is a caring person. She has used the "tot mom" story to generate ratings.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike from Calgary

      Nancy Disgrace is a prosecutor so of course she is biased.

      She just happens to be rude and mean-spirited! Just like she was when she battered abused and haranged Melinda Duckett to death in 2006!

      July 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • fayse

      Thanks PMD, I just sent my opinion of Nancy Grace and Jane Velez Mitchell to the CNN feedback. The hate mongering needs to stop before innocent people get hurt. Nancy Grace is throwing fuel to the fire of already out of control emotions.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jim

    CNN's continuing coverage of this topic is pitiful.

    The prosecution failed to prove their case. Casey was found not guilty. The jury did their job.

    Its over. Move on CNN... start reporting on real news... there is an entire world of news out there... start doing your jobs and report on it.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa Marie

      SHUT UP!

      July 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • harold

      Lisa Marie. You seem very forceful and domineering. What a turn on. I just jerked off my jimmystick thinking about you and my keyboard is a mess. Do you have any pictures?

      July 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Caseyisguilty

    Let's see Casey was the last person to see Caylee. She lied to everyone including the police about where she was and who had her. She danced the night away and her demeanor did not change during the time the child was unaccounted for.... She ended the childs life whether by accident or purposely – she took her life. And now precedent has been made for future parents to take their child's life and get away with murder. Defense Lawyers parents ought to be so proud – look what their college money has done for our future.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      It was the prosecution that failed Caylee, not the defense and not the jury...

      The prosecution essentially failed everyone.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. matt

    Nancy Grace, why are you on television. you don't have many viewers. you don't have an education. you look like filth when you're on TV not to mention. you put too much make make up on but I dont blame CNN for making you put that much make up, I wonder how bad you look without make up if you look hideous now. Despite your senseless, moronic, idiotic, illogical, swine-like appearance there have been many tabloids and small news articles claiming that your husband is cheating on you. I dont know if that's just a rumor or not, but they make a VERY believable case. But can you blame your husband though? I pity you. Your voice on television is horrendous and your remarks about this case make zero sense. I am a news editor for a suburban city in New York with connections to major news programs and magazines and your time is over. Hit the unemployment office soon. Come on Nancy, would you not agree with me that the photo of you on this news article is very similar to that of a pig. If you disagree, you can keep your job. Best of luck! Actually no, I can't even wish that for you.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa Marie

      You're a moron. Why did your parents waste God's precious time conceiving you!

      July 8, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • JACKI

      MATT........SO GLAD TO SEE OTHERS WITH ENOUGH INTELLIGENCE TO SEE THROUGH NANCY GRACE. SHE IS A VINDICTIVE PERSON AND HAS NO PLACE ON TV. I SENT AN EMAIL TO CNN/HLN THAT I HAVE A MENTAL IMAGE OF HER LEADING THE LYNCH MOB, NOOSE IN HAND, AND THEY SAY THEY ARE JUST ANALYSING???

      July 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • resa

      Matt.....I feel very sorry for you!

      July 8, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      sorry for me? haha i'll go farther in this world than you ever will or nancy DISgrace for that matter. I'm a 3rd year med student, while you im sure, work at the fast food chain in your neighborhood

      July 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • RM

      You are a News Editor? Yeah right. I don't believe you and if you are in fact a news editor you are the one that will be unemployed, because you have no writing talent. You really need to watch your nasty comments they speak volumes for the type of person you truly are. Name calling and accusations about a person's private life ?? Really??

      July 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • resa

      Actually Matt, I don't work anymore. My occupation shouldn't matter to you either. What the hell does that have to do with anything? I thought you said you were smart?

      July 9, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John

    Apparently, according to the majority of people here, if a person is charged with a crime, we can just dispense with the trial altogether and skip right to the punishment phase. If that happens, I plan to go back to being a cop...that way, I will always be right! After all, in such a world, defendants are guilty until proven innocent and without a trial, we can just say they're guilty...sooo, where were YOU last night when that murder took place??

    July 8, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Trisha

    Question: was she convicted on the check charges? and what was her sentence. if she was on probation for that then how can she of served her probation time in jail. Is that your law there in Florida.

    Thank you for the great coverage by all.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • fayse

      Trisha, yes she was convicted and she had already served enough time for the conviction. She does still face the fines on that charge.

      July 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Triton

    Nancy Graces' only concern is the popularity of Nancy Grace. She is a Narcissist who considers herself (wrongly) a brilliant always right goddess. Trash pundit opinion news at its' worst.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MOVE ON

    Believe me i could understand how you all feel about Casey Anthony not being convicted. But at the same time you all need to really look at everything and stop listening to everyone else. The juory did not have enough to convict Casey Anthony on a First Degree Murder! You might not all agree but they did not provide enough edvidence to state that she herself killed her daught! I know we all believe she did. I think this case is a serious case but at this point she is found NOT guilty. There is nothing else noone can do! It is redickulous to know that people are still acting as crazy as they are! Its over with. People need to really get a life and move on! She will get punished in other ways but its stupid to have people making threats to take her life! So you take her life and end up in jail is it really worth it? Its over move on. She is NOT guily as per our legal system.

    AS FOR YOU NANCY.... I UNDERSTAND YOU ARE REALLY OBSESSED WITH THIS CASE AS ARE MANY PPL. BUT THERE ARE WAY MORE PPL OUT THERE MISSING EVERYDAY WHO YOU MIGHT CAN SAVE BEFORE THEY DIE INSTEAD OF BEING STUCK ON THE SAME CASE THAT HAS ENDED..... HELP SOMEONE...........

    July 8, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JDM

    Nancy Grace is a b_____....Casey was proven not guilty, Nancy heard the trial. There was no evidence so "Shut-up Nancy!!!"

    July 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mika

    Nancy, forgiveness is up to the Lord and to YOU...if you're going to quote anything from the Bible quote it right... He says we should forigve as He does! It's your fault she's a "celebrity" and that she'll get book deals... how are you going to be mad about something you created. If she killed her daughter that's on her head, but because you paraded it around on national television every day & night like there were other things going on in this country is your own fault... blame no one else for all this attention on her, but you!

    July 8, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • rae

      Thank you Mika.........well said, very well said. She had this girl convicted and ready to be put to death before she had her day in court. Nancy needs to leave the judging up to God. She in a big part has created this circus. If anything happens to Casey, Nancy should feel responsible and that makes her worse in my opinion. Too many haters in this world.......seriously.

      July 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tony

    Nancy Grace makes BLOOD MONEY.
    IF she opened her eyes she'd see the red in her wallet.

    July 8, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jonathan

    Casey Anthony only got away with it because nancy grace and her contributers didnt allow the state attorneys do there job, instead they let a news anchor act like she knows what she is talking about, I have studied this case and Casey Anthony is guilty 100 percent no doubt in my mind or anyone. Ask yourself this why is she going to be free and the only thing I can thing of is that Nancy Gracy and company couldnt shut up about it.. IF knowone got involved and allowed the Prosucuters and the justice department do there job we wouldnt have a crazy verdict,...
    The dealth penality is alittle harsh for Casey Anthony dont you think? Whatever happend that night was clearly a accident and it was done on purpose only time will tell just like vanderslout they all eventually talk.

    July 8, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kate from British Columbia

    Hi Nancy,

    Great job. With the forum that you have I would love it if you could reach out to other networks and/or continue to reach out to the public regarding implementing sanctions against any profits that the Anthonys and/or their attornys may try to gain off of the death of Cayleen. Encourage people not to turn in to TV interviews that the group or individuals may give, not to buy the books. Rearch out to law makers and celebrities to ensure that the Anthonys and their attorny's are not welcomed into various corporate/business/entertainment groups. It is time for everyone to take a moral stand. Thanks for all that you do.

    July 8, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ChiroBob

    Ms Grace has repeatedly been off center and out of line as a prosecutor and attorney with the The Supreme Court of Georgia having twice commented negatively on Grace's conduct as a prosecutor. In another instance "The court agreed that it was "difficult to conclude that Grace did not knowingly use ... [apparently false] testimony.]" Boy what a juror she is. Doesn't CNN feel any obligation to the watching public to provide honorable personages rather than the more shrill and hateful types like Ms Grace? I hope the Anthony case clues the news network into corrective measures. I will say that John King made an overture toward calling her out on her excesses. She topic changed on him and he never controlled the topic after that opting for fawning over her after being 'put in his place.'
    I have no use for such as Ms Grace and her ilk. Drug pusher Rush is another example of this type of crassness. Our country is replete with excess in this type of talking head. In my world and local society we would not tolerate that type of behavior, I have no idea why we tolerate it on national television or in the news.
    And it was only November 8th of 2010 that Ms Grace's case settled – you recall that one, right? The case where Ms Grace condemned a mother [Druckett] for killing her son and the mother subsequently killed herself. Ms Graces positioin was along the lines of 'she wouldn't have killed herself if I weren't right and she was guilty of killing the child.' Of course the courts (Ms Grace's superiors – legally) allowed a settlement of the event and there are proceeds lost by CNN and Grace that go to the Druckett child, if found, or to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children if not found. Point being all agreed to punitive effects on Grace's excessive manner and behavior.
    I agree with the verdict in the Anthony case – specifically, there was not enough evidence presented to convict as charged. Not being there I trust the jurors who were there are honorable people trying hard to do a difficult task. I continue to trust the system to generally get it right.

    July 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. swampman61

    Nancy sorry you didn't get your TV conviction but in this country you are innocent until proved otherwise your a talking head and I'm sure you scored heavy with the ratings with your ranting BS frankly I think your the devil and should be removed from all forms of media. Oh and fix that mop on your head its ugly.

    July 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • rae

      Haaaa, that's just hilarious........love it:):)

      July 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
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