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. Mark W

    So Nancy – it's the Lord's job to do the forgiving – because that's not your job. But I thought judging was also the Lord's job – but you have no problem taking on that role. I won't watch Nancy Grace and I can only hope that no one else will either. She needs to just go away!

    July 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • PMD

      Funny how my earlier post advising all readers here of the CNN Headline News e-mail address for complaints about N. Grace and Valez-Mitchell is gone. Strange....... The address again is: cnn.com/feedback/hdlns/.

      July 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      The lords job? Shut the F up. You are judging her by your statements you hypocrite.

      July 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy Disgrace

      She should change her name to Nancy Disgrace.

      July 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • deborah

      i have a comment about george anthony ,he was a cop and if in fact the baby drowned while in his care or her moms,george knows when a body is deceased ,body fluids will come out of nose,mouth and lower body .my guess is they or george put duct tape over little caylees face to prevent fluids of body getting all over trunk of car.

      July 8, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tracey

      Really Mark?? Nancy is a HERO for all she's done with this case!! She wants justice for Caylee just like 96% of the world does!! I appauld Nancy and tireless efforts in this case. Nancy, don't listen to these people who apparently have no heart or soul. We love you and know why you're doing this!! Keep Fighting!!

      July 8, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Phil James

    Inciting to riot is a crime in most places. Grace has done just that to the point of warping the thoughts of numerous people with her constant hammering away at Casey Anthony. It's time to turn around, face the microphone and speak with your mouth. In my 80 years , born and raised in Florida, I've never seen a worse witch hunt with the entire bungled up mess. Just because a person was once a police officer, it doesn't give him a halo and wings. By the way, the young lady's name is not "Tot Mom".

    July 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Ya her name isn't tot mom. I prefer to call her murderer.

      July 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackie

      Nancy Grace is a loud mouth POS who's only goal is ratings. Her motto is "guilty until proven innocent" and her viewers are even worse. They're sheep unable to form their own opinion.

      July 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tracey

      Phil, you're an idiot. It wasn't a "witch hunt" It was a CHILD MURDERER HUNT! Calling her "tot mom" is waaaay nicer than what I actually call her. (It probably would get my comments deleted if I called her what I know she is. 'Tot Mom' is an evil, murdering, Wh**e, C**t!!!! I can't wait for her to get what's coming to her, I am literally praying for it. God and I may have to have a conversation about what I pray happens to that evil monster, but, I just guess i'll deal with that when it happens. But i'll dance with joy in the streets if she actually ever gets what's coming to her......

      July 8, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Phil James

    Inciting to riot is a crime in most places. Grace has done just that to the point of warping the thoughts of numerous people with her constant hammering away at Casey Anthony. It's time to turn around, face the microphone and speak with your mouth. In my 80 years , born and raised in Florida, I've never seen a worse witch hunt with the entire bungled up mess. Just because a person was once a police officer, it doesn't give him a halo and wings. By the way, the young lady's name is not "Tot Mom".

    July 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    July 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SuZieCoyote

    It is possible Casey killed her daughter. But the state didn't prove it. And what, if not "defamation" has the last several years of Ms. DisGrace's hammering about "tot mom's' guilt, prior to (and now after) the jury's decision been? Casey Anthony should go directly after Grace with a lawsuit claiming that defamation. No matter whether Anthony did or did not kill her daughter, Ms Grace has degraded the judicial system by acting as judge, jury and would-be executioner before the entire world.

    July 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. r

    First and foremost, Nancy Grace is getting all this flak because she is a woman. No way would any of this be thrown her way if she were a man.

    July 8, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joy

    Nancy Grace cetainly does have a right to disagree with a jury decision. She has a right to discuss that publicly. She does NOT have a right to lie. I think she is a bigger liar than Casey Anthony. She misquotes, misrepresents, and tells outright lies in order to incite the public. Did anyone hear her version of what Juror #3 said. Listen to the interview with this Juror or ABC and then listen to her MIS quoting this juror. Nancy believes that the public watches HLN because of her. In realty we watch to see the actual proceedings in the courtroom that are broadcast intermittently between in gibberish. We tolerate her. It is getting more and more difficult as more of her collegues are emulating her in order to increase their ratings. She is laughable. Do you notice that she only airs those callers that compliment her?????? When the majority of her viewers think she is a joke. AND don't get me started on her sanctimonious responses about how she was a prosecutor and how she was a victim. She is so full of it.....it is nauseating! Goodnight friend

    July 8, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Butch

    What if the State charges George with perjury for testifying under oath that Cayley did not drown in the pool, since Casey's story now, according to her attorney, is that Caylee drowned and George knows it. They could then call Casey to the stand to testify against George. She would either have to tell the truth or lie and face a perjury charge of her own. She cannot refuse to testify, as she cannot be charged with murder again due to double jeopardy. But perjury would be a new crime. We would either get the truth about what happened to Cayley, or another chance to send Casey to jail. If she lies, charge Cindy and make Casey testify again. Now she has two perjury charges. Is there any legal reason this would not work?

    July 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      She can't be charged with perjury because she didn't testify. A defendant does not have the burden of proof that a state's case has to have so her story doesn't have to hold any water.

      July 8, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. James

    No, you don't have to agree with the jury. That's your right but get over it and stop being so self richeous. I imagine you get up early every morning so you can be Meaner Longer. You are obviously a miserable person. I feel sorry for the people around you. You are like a snake that strikes without notice and I decided many years ago to stay away from people like you like the Plague.

    July 8, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sassy

    eye for an eye, casey and george are guilty of murder and cover up. i wish i could be there to kick her ass when she gets out and her dads to... im very angery about this... we want the truth about what happened to little caylee, why the cover up... justice for caylee,, justice for caylee will never stop i hope..

    July 8, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • mini fox

      hi sass, are you a witch hunter too? smph, how much different are you than casey?

      July 9, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Doc Button

    SHAME ON YOU, NANCY GRACE.

    July 8, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • mini fox

      i agree with you Doc!

      July 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • mini fox

      i agree with you Doc! but its Nancy DISgrace

      July 9, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Augusta Gee

    I used to be a big Nancy Grace fan and it never occured to me that she would state her opinion without proper evidence. Reasonable doubt emerged in my mind when I learned that seven law enforcement agencies with vast resourses could only offer "possible evidence" like the computer search in March, and other minute exhibits after an extra exhaustive search with 2011 forensics. NG disagrees with the verdict. Sorry. Respect it. Don't let NG give Casey Anthony the death penalty anyway by stirring and stiring and stirring the pot of public outrage until a nut goes after all or any of the players. The jury of her peers has spoken. Drop it and go look for some more missing children.

    July 8, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Grundge

    Nancy I TOTALLY agree with you! You really need to get back into the courtroom and get the hell off of TV!

    July 8, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bayo davies

    In my opinion, nancy grace should be made for face charges of defamation of character.When a TV anchor uses her position to stir up public anger, being bias and allow emotions becloud her sense of reasoning, then one is forced to assume that such an anchor has other motives. Her ratings has since reached the roof because she cleverly taps into the emotions of the public, manipulates the truth. At first, she used her platform to assasinate casey's character.When the trial started, it became more of a reality show.She attacks those on her show with contrary views.Next thing, she started attacking the defense team. On judgement day, it became the jurors that were under attack.AS americans, lets respect the verdict of the jury, period.For those like nancy grace that wont let the issue rest, they should go ahead and break the sky for all I care!

    July 8, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Eric

    I totally agree with you Nancy, I don't understand why people are trying to protect the jury from negative feedback. They got it wrong, didn't think logically and from their interviews I completely believe they were not the most logical people. A spade is a spade there are stupid people out there. Why is that hard for people to hear?

    July 8, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. inadaze2

    I NO THAT POSTER...... "Casey Anthony should sue the State of Florida and her Persecutors" it Is Jose baez or the jumping Monkey COWARD

    July 8, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98