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 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. Danny


    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.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • iBod

      You know, I really did like Rick Sanchez...Good journalist, but didn't know when to keep his mouth shut....This cow just throws constant demeaning and stereotypical slurs all the time! It's insulting and embarrassing for CNN...Just toss her already!

      July 6, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinkingman

      Nancy doesn't enjoy the same privilege of immunity for slander that a real prosecutor foes. Her unequivocal pronouncement of Anthony's guilt it outright slander, and I hope Anthony's lawyers persuade her to sue Nancy for every penny she has or will earn. The woman (Nancy) is a disgrace.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brett Henthorn

      I am willing to bet money that millions of people agree with Ms. Grace. However, no one is asking OUR opinions. Thank you Nancy for saying what you "Feel", you have many many in agreement with you. Sorry Caylee, your mother got away with killing you and your Grandparents helped her.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shereallyiscrazy

      I think the woman is unhinged. I used to think it was just her personal brand or media image, but I now truly think she has some sort of rage-induced mental illness. We have all been disgusted by the outcome of a trial or some type of perceived injustice, but every day this woman conducts herself like some Law & Order "rogue DA" character come to life. I really think she would murder Casey Anthony if given the chance, and it would be less about justice than her own narcissism.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anne-Marie

      I agree with you Danny. She should be fired, she has a social responsibility due to her fame and she has defamed and slandered Casey. She was acquitted by jurors who were not part of Nancy's followers and who were looking at the evidence presented by the prosecutors who failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Nancy would have been the sort of person to lead a witch hunt a few hundred years ago, that is why the trial system is secure against people like Nancy today

      July 6, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Anthony S

    It seems that Nancy "the blonde bimbo of justice" Grace could get a conviction in the court of public opinion but in the real world where most of us live the wheels of justice turned. You may not agree with the verdict and really doesn't make any difference. Ms Anthony had her day in court, the prosecution had their chance to bring about a conviction but the jury saw a different picture. The verdict was rendered case closed.

    Yes John D.H. she is a lawyer and a prosecuting attorney former Atlanta D.A I believe. She left there and sold her soul to CNN for the almighty dollar. They gave her a stage where she can spew venom and most likely because she couldn't cut as a real D.A or a lawyer. She is a very sad person and needs to be removed from the airwaves. Do us a favor Nancy call Dr. "dud" Drew maybe he can help you with your anger issues, cause hon you got issues that you never got resolved from your past, and it's becoming irritating for the rest of us.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinkingman

      Mike Nifong is an attorney and former prosecutor, too. He and Nancy must have gone to the same school. Both of them were shamelessly wrong in their relentless prosecution /persecution of the Duke lacrosse players. Only one of them lost their job. Why?

      July 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Name*Rhonda stidham

    Nancy you are so right. I'm still upset about the verdict. Why didn't they convict her of child neglect. I hope her parents give her "tough love" and not let her come home.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. iBod

    This is all I've heard in the past twenty-four hours: "Our justice system failed"..."Blame the jury"..."I lost faith in our justice system"...
    Yeah, well I lost faith in our Education System...I'll stand unbiased against or for Casey Anthony, but I will say, the Justice System worked in this trial the way it has done so for the past two centuries–No failure, No fault, No illegality. If you have a problem with the decision in this case, it's your own stupidity for getting so emotionally attached to it...If you are so emotionally attached that you are now protesting over this and/or agreeing with the nonsense-statements Nancy Grace is making, I recommend you call a psychiatrist as soon as possible. However, I will say, if anyone is to blame for the verdict in this case–plain and simple–it's the Prosecution for charging her with Murder, and then poorly delivering the evidence at trial.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. J

    If the court of law says that Casey is innocent as Nancy Grace is still calling her a murderer and saying she murdered her daughter, does that not count as defamation? Just curious.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chris Kringle

    Headline News anchor says stay tuned for more prime time news. That news includes one story the Casey Anthony story 24-7. So how can you actually call your channel Headline News. It should be called the Rag Magazine Channel!

    July 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. nemo

    Nancy grace is an evil inbred...she should be sued by casey for slander....besides...I think nancy did it!!!!!!

    July 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Donna Collier

    We need to pass a law that jurors can not profit off interviews. This is crazy – no wonder those people wanted to be on the jury. What can we the people do to ensure jurors do not profit????????????

    July 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff S

    I'm not really sure Mrs. Grace understands our judicial system. She speaks as if "tot mom," as she calls her, is guilty. Even says she is guilty. And yet our judicial system bases itself on the tenet that to be guilty you have to be convicted in a court of law. I must have missed where this woman was convicted of killing her daughter in a court of law. I think its time to stop referring to this woman as guilty. I don't follow Mrs. Grace, dont watch tv much at all, but I'm pretty sure Mrs. Grace believed this woman was guilty before all the evidence was heard in court. That to me is enough to tell me Mrs. Grace doesn't really believe in the idea that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      Thank you I totally agree!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Slooptb

    If I hear "bombshell" one more time .....
    Nancy Grace manipulated the case to improve ratings on a one theme show. If she didn't realize the verdict to acquit was immanent then she thinks to highly of herself as an attorney. Bombshell..., Nancy Grace is a disgrace

    July 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nancy DISgrace

    From the minute this story broke (a couple of years ago), Ms. Grace was hammering Casey Anthony before Casey even was arraigned. Ms. Grace gets an undereducated group of viewers and a bunch of blue haire retired gossipmongers to whip her nationally televised vigilante sqaud (to call it a show is like calling the 1933 Nurenburg Nazi Rally a sensible, rational political gathering). Furthermore, while Ms. Grace clings to the First Amendment, she needs to understand that it protects not only LAWYERS like herself but also folks like Larry Flynt, and other people Ms. Grace finds undesireable. CNN wishes to distance itself from FOX News, but with Ms. Grace, it is the "stove calling the kettle black".

    July 6, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John

    What evidence that is irrefutable to prove that she murdered her daughter? Saying that she is guilty is an opinion. Saying she abused her late daughter is an opinion. When there is proven evidence, then you can state she is what you believe.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. NewsRaider

    Nancy Grace's show is not news; it's not a play-by-play of anything. She basically TELLS people they better agree with her while they are on the show. She is boisterous ... To say anything good about her. CNN certainly could find someone better. She is pathetically opinionated and biased against men. She has no value. Nancy Grace is dancing with the devil.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. NancyBGone

    Nancy is sure that "tot mom" killed Caylee but she doesn't say that Casey Anthony is tot mom. Nancy never mentions Casey by name in the interview. Maybe criminal tot mom is on the loose.

    CNN please get rid of Nancy Disgrace as soon as today if possible.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • anna brantham

      u r insane! Nancy Grace is not in question. Nancy Grace did not kill her child. Tot Mom "CASEY MARIE ANTHONY" murdered her precious child and left her out to rot for 31DAYS.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • SailorGary

      You arte a horses ass if you think she had nothing to do with her daughters death.....while I believe she didnt intend to kill her daughter....I do believe she chloroformed her and duct taped her to keep her quiet in the trunk.....In the hopes that she could go party and that caylee would sleep through it all.....I believe caylee suffocated, and tot mom (Casey) then tried to cover the whole thing up and lied, and lied, and lied, and partied, and got tattooed "The Beautiful Life".....actions reveal character.....her actions clearly defined the type of person she was and is. I feel sorry for the family of this lying psychopath(CASEY)!

      July 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tarea

      Nancy Grace has the courage to speak her mind in a public forum. If you don't agree with her views don't watch or listen. Your reaction is extreme and putting Nancy Grace down is more a reflection of you not her. Whether you like it or not, Nancy is a brilliant woman who has dedicated her life to advocating for victims of crime via the justice system. What have you done lately that may compare...besides complain?

      July 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CnnDC

    Nancy – It is amazing you have to go on on to show that you disagree with the jury and the verdict went against what you wanted and predicted. Are you blaming the jury? Is it possible you are biased? Is is possible you lost the edge to be on national television and provide unbiased opinion? Aren't you supposed to accept the verdict of the jury and move on?

    July 6, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • anna brantham

      the whole country is in an upheaval over Casey's actions...SHE MURDERED HER DAUGHTER. She would've been safer in jail than on the streets. oh...poor her.....maybe someone will find her remains with tape over her lying mouth.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
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