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. Mike from Calgary

    George Anthony should have used the Duct tape to secure his penis, or at least to hold up his pants, rather than to dispose of dead pets or "animals".
    Only good thing about his diddiling with young females at home and with search parties ... is that he told searcher Hollaway the truth ... about tragic accident that snowballed.
    TOO BAD GEORGE DID NOT SECURE HIS PANTS WITH DUCT TAPE AND HIS POOL WITH A FENCE AND SELF-LOCKING GATE!

    July 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen Santina Montanez

      I live in central Florida and have faith in the jury system. I am shocked that you, an "alleged" member of the bar in any state, can condemn a jury for their verdict PERIOD. So I ask you. Tell me about the "heart sticker" you opened your show with every "figging" night? OOOPS – the FBI said it didn't exist. IThat is one example of many. Since I also have the freedom of speech I will say that I believe NANCY GRACE will have blood on her hands should any juror become a victim of a retaliatory crime. I suspect I could count on one hand, the number of your viewers that have inteligence enough to understand that what you say is not gospel! Or recognize how you profit off of the pain and misery of others. Please do tell about how much you are paid for your show and how much you have actually pocketed off your book despite claiming to donate proceeds. Do tell Nancy. Get there first. God knows your heart and I believe he sees evil.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. 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 u

    July 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leann

      Matt people like you sit there and put Nancy down, and others yet she is trying to stick up for the innocent, the ones that don't have a voice anymore, what does that make you, you sit here and judge and pursecute others when you should look at your own life and find out where all of that hate is coming from. Take a min. to look deep and fix it. You have to answer for your words in the end. So speak with caution. Thank you!!!! And by the way I think Nancy is a wonderful women. She knows what she is talking about. I respect her so much.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. fayse

    @mrright, no sir, you are the idiot.

    July 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tony

    this woman's only drive is spite after watching her fiance's murderer walk three. She moves around like she is a crusader for justice. But, only blind justice. Her drive is spite and vengeance and money. Just you wait GRace. Everything comes around.

    July 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jeff

    ok motor mouth nancy disgrace, heres the bottom line. you have no life, you have viewers who pity you. you're arrogant, you're look like a pig, you're comments make no sense. do the world a big favor and just pack up and leave cnn. you bring down cnn with your show. i think you should be tried for manslaughter for having a woman commit suicide because of you. how do u not feel guilty that you swine-like voice was the cause of death. you brought sadness into the lives of loved ones of that woman whom you made commit suicide. you should be ostracized. you are so pathetic, YOU are the reason why there's bias in the news. YOU!

    July 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. floridian

    it is the same technique used in o.j trail ... and it is going to be available to all attorney go against the sheriffs ..they did not do a good job.. against investigation ..officers ..drs of not handling properly the investigation you can accuse any one you want @ the end was no camera at the time of murdering any one ... here also we need a new law .

    July 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Linda2148

    Get off the air Nancy.

    July 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anita

      Never understand why people read and watch Nancy when they don't even like her. If you don't like her, don't watch, but it's not your place to pick what is aired on television and what is not aired. Get off the internet!

      July 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sally

    i hope all the juriers have nightmares the rest of their lives and casey should burn in hell

    July 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mary

    I'm not familiar with Florida State laws, so I would appreciate someone with better knowledge than myself to answer this question for me. Given that the defense in court and which is now a matter of public record, claimed Caylee drowned accidentally on June 16 in the family swimming pool and that Casey and her father "purportedly" covered this accident up, can/will the prosecution proceed to seek charges relating to the cover up and also for committing an indignity to human remains by taking matters into their own hands and not contacting the proper authorities when this accident occurred or is there no such law that would support that type of charge in Florida?

    July 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • floridian

      i think a new law regarding this matter is coming under the name of caylees law

      July 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen Santina Montanez

      The State probably should have charged her with that, for even if her own defense attorney didn't admit that, it was clear in the evidence. But it is done. If you are ever accused of a crime you didn't commit (I'm not saying Casey is totally innocent here – just not guilty of murder) you want a jury to make the state prove their case. Do something to change your neighborhood. Do you know who your congressmen and women are? You have to participate in making change, not just complain about it.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sick of it all.

    If the press wants the names of Jurors espcially in the Casey Anthony case then the press should give out the names of their confidential sources.

    July 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. floridian

    this trial was another Hollywood production and to me an international embarrassment ...Go casey as professional you just got your diploma ...

    July 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. James

    Sounds as if Miss Grace is acting as judge , jury. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Miss Grace, you are a public figure and what you say if often heard by many people. A jury of Miss Anthony' s peers found her innocent...of murder at least, its time to get over it and move on. Continuing to dwell on it only gives Miss Anthony more spotlight and disgraces Caylee's memory. RIP Caylee.

    July 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anita

      Wrong James. They didn't find her INNOCENT, they found her NOT GUILTY based on the lack of evidence. Caylee was kidnapped by a woman who didn't even exist, except in Casey's imaginary world. She hid Caylee's disappearance for a reason and it wasn't because she was innocent.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin T

      Anita,
      I think what James meant was that by the statute that everybody is "Innocent until proven guilty," then Casey is innocent because she was not proven guilty. Does that make sense? But he's right in that Nancy Grace, and the media as a whole, have villified Casey, and everybody lately that goes to trial. They were saying that Casey was guilty before the trial ever happened. The same happened with the Duke lacrosse team, and now it's been happening with Michael Jackson's doctor. Most media outlets have already portrayed him as being responsible and are saying he's guilty. The media honestly has been getting the saying backwards to where now it is "Guilty until proven innocent," and that is not how our justice system works.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Krehator

    Nancy Grace is an opportunist who only promotes the law when it benefits her pocket. She could care less about that dead kid. She is basically using the corpse of that poor girl to boost herself to get attention. What a piece of garbage! She should be taken off the air.

    She is also a overweight and overly painted woman. All that make up isn't hiding her ugliness.

    July 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Krehator

    According to Nancy Grace, everyone is guilty. She would have made a good Gestapo Agent.

    July 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Froggy McKeethan

    Nancy I love your show. You are spot on about the jury. We are just sick about this verdict. It's so hard to come to terms with letting a murdering mother go free. I want to give you this important link that profiles Casey psychologically. She has made fools of the court system, the law enforcement folks...but she hasn't fooled me. Here's the link: http://www.thehinkymeter.com/casey-anthony-murder-trial/caseys-profile/
    God bless you Nancy.

    July 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
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