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. Sam

    I am glad the jury is getting death threats. Let each one of them be tossed into a swap. I think in order to stand on a jury you should need to take a test to make sure you have common sense and an IQ over 10. These jurors were lazy and did not even ask for a read back of any "evidence". They wanted to go home and not do their duty effectively. They want to make money off of Caylees death just like her murderer mother.

    July 9, 2011 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
    • CoffeePartyMember

      Jurors getting death threats. And you are glad? This kind of threats only happens in some legally backward countries or southern states at Jim Crow time, where the respect of the laws are totally absent. Are you from one of these places?

      July 9, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • LibelFreeZone

      Our country is going down the tubes if its citizens are "glad" that juries are getting death threats. This sentiment is shocking and troubling. Nancy DisGrace should be fired immediately, yet this nimnal, Sam, thinks the public should act on its threats. CNN, do you see what Nancy DisGrace has wrought?

      July 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Terieane

    I have never watched Nancy Grace but in this article she sums up pretty much what everyone thinks . I didn't know about Casey Anthony prior to the trial.I believe the jury should have taken more time with the case when in deliberations I felt that the least she should have gotten manslaughter but then looking at all the evidence because it wasn't concrete ' written in stone ' and when you do get instructions before deliberations and if you actually go by them unfortunatly they were correct in the verdict. I was shocked like most people at the outcome but that is because you feel she did it , everything somewhere along the line makes you believe she did it , it's gut instincts the procecution did a good case scenario that pointed to Casey's involvement , but at the same time again there is no concrete evidence .You take Scott Peterson to be honest I was surprise he was deemed guilty without concrete evidence but everything pointed towards his involvement the jury deemed him guity in reality that was shocking as well if you figure there should be concrete evidence. However saying that as far as death threats are concern for the jury that's rediculous what does that say about people out there uttering them. Angry at a verdict is one thing but death threats to anyone is another matter that's going way overboard.

    July 9, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Luann

      Anyone that says – the state didnt prove thier case – simply did not watch the entire trial and/or simply does not understand the law or the legal system – which is the First problem here. How is it that we take 12 people off the street and expect them to agree on a verdict based on the law – when they dont understand the law?? Not one of these jurors understood "reasonable doubt" – there are so many interpretations of reasonable doubt that it makes my head spin. What it means is this – was it reasonable – after seeing all the evidence, to believe that caylee died at the hands of her mother?? – the answer is YES – then we must ask ourselves – is there any other REASONABLE reason for her death? is it REASONABLE to believe that caylee died at the hands of GEORGE Anthony? – and based on the evidence – of course not! You must look at all the evidence – individually – cast out any "evidence" that is not believable – then look at the whole picture – what is your GUT instinct about what happened – after seeing all the evidence?? yes – this jury admits they think she did it – – then – the state DID prove thier case to them – – THIS JURY DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF REASONABLE DOUBT - - the jury instructions are WAY too confusing. how is it that we continue to use a system that is NOT WORKING??

      July 9, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. randy

    i like nancy grace, she's is as smart as she is beautiful. i agree with her 110 %, casey anthony is guilty! the juriors were wrong declaring her not guilty, a little beautiful child is dead! the people in this country is outraged, can anyone blame them, NO WAY! i;m outraged! children are a gift from god and this damn casey anthony killed god's most precious gift, if casey didn't want to be a mom and cindy didn;t want to be a grandmother and george a grandfather, then all they needed to do is give sweet innocent caylee up for adoption, their would be a longggg list of loving couple standing in line waiting to give her love and affection that she deserved, she will be loved by all! god bless you caylee anthony, your mom will pay at the hands of god for what she did to you, you are truly god's special little angel. and for casey, you will burn in hell someday ,

    July 9, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • enuffisenuff

      Did I just read your blog right??? Nancy Grace smart & beautiful in the same sentence. BOMBSHELL A man actually likes Nancy Grace. I hear sheep sounds in my head. I think I am going to puke now.

      July 9, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Michael Purcell

    HERE'S WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN NOW ! A warrant for the arrest of Casey, Cindy (mom) and George (dad) for the conspiracy to coverup little Caylee's death, as according to Casey Anthony and her attorney's statements that the child "drowned in the pool". Force all to testify on the stand and see who gets off? Something tells me it won't be Casey.

    July 9, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • enuffisenuff

      That would fall under the double jeopardy law. The country has that law for a reason NO do overs when the state and cops screwed the pooch on a case. I am sorry but you can't ring up on 1st degree murder charges when there are more questions than evidence linking the person to a murder that would warrant the death penalty. I hope prosecutors around the country wise up and charge people with the appropriate charges and not do it because they are under pressure from the media when the media put there emotions or personal agenda behind a case.

      July 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Michael Purcell

    So Here's What Should Happen Now! A warrant for the arrest of Casey, Cindy (mom) and George (dad) for the conspiracy to coverup little Caylee's death, as according to Casey Anthony and her attorney's changed statements that the child "drowned in the pool". Force all to testify on the stand and see who gets off? Something tells me it won't be Casey.

    July 9, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. CoffeePartyMember

    1 % of reporters, including Nancy Grace, gives 99% reporters a bad reputation.

    July 9, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. CoffeePartyMember

    Jurors getting death threats. And you people are glad? This kind of threats only happens in some legally backward countries or Jim Crow southern states, where the respect of the laws are totally absent. Are you people from one of these places?

    July 9, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CoffeePartyMember

    A famed news anchorperson gets much higher pay than a prosecutor. But a radically inspired anchorperson also does more harm than a prosecutor. Nancy Grace.

    July 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Greg

    Uh, Duh Nancy Grinch..............You have the right to your opinion, but you said that Casey was guilty, you didn't say it was your opinion, you said it as fact, before the trial after the trial. Upstanding member of the bar in Georgia? Just looked, says that you are an inactive member. Can you tell the truth about anything? Yeah, put on your boots, hop on your broom and please for the love of the Lord, fly away.

    July 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • LibelFreeZone

      Good idea, Greg. Nancy DisGrace, in addition to being fired from CNN/HLN for being an incendiary crackpot, should be disbarred, too.

      July 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bernarr Hamm

    First who is going to pay for that little girls life being taken away? She never got to experience anything. Second I think the prosecution should be penalized for not making any evidence stick. Apparently they couldn't link that sorry ass mom to her daughter's death. Third if she didn't do it, she knows who did, I guarantee it. Something is very fishy! You don't have a child and just not keep watch of your loving daughter or son, especially at that age. Come on! Not all of America is dumb!

    July 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. LibelFreeZone

    Nancy Grace is now under fire for being a direct threat to democracy by convicting Casey Anthony before the jury was even selected. How dare she. This hideous excuse for a journalist/pundit has always seized on cases she thought would catapult her into the collective consciousness and bring as much notoriety to herself as to the targets of her venom. She succeeded in the Michael Jackson and now Casey Anthony cases, among others acquitted, in nearly hijacking the entire criminal justice process to inject her own sick brand of vigilante justice to the proceedings.

    Anyone who appreciates, approves of and honors the jury component of this country’s criminal justice system should condemn the tactics of HLN and Nancy DisGrace.

    Nancy DisGrace should be fired, plain and simple. Media consumers, now’s the time to have your voice heard. She an unrepentant medialoid (defined as mainstream media infected by tabloid journalism) reprobate, and the sooner the airwaves of America are rid of her, the better. CNN, get a clue.

    July 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • enuffisenuff

      100% totally agree with your blog...you really hit the nail on the head. I am happy I am not the only one in this country that is disgusted by Nancy Grace and her friends like Susan Moss. Say we were OJ'd what would they have called it if Casey was sentence to Death...Justice for Caylee. I would only say that if I was 100% sure if I was convinced Casey killed her through premeditation. But with the case being full of speculation and not concrete evidence how can a prosecutor call for a death sentence? I don't blame the jury for saying "Not Guilty" under the guidelines for reasonable doubt and they didn't put the right charges to match the investigation...they used science that hasn't been approved by the scientific world. No wonder Baez labled it junk science. People just need to exhale and move on..enuff said!!!

      July 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Deb K

    Ms Grace is an example of everything that is wrong with the US justice system. A prosecutor is not there to "win" or "lose" but to present the evidence in a fair and impartial manner. Ms Grace, on the other hand, sees this an arena where warriors (or more correctly their egos) battle it out for supremacy. Like it or not, feeling in your gut that Ms Anthony did the crime is not enough to convict and it is not the burden of proof prosecutors are put to, for good reason. The jury in this case made absolutely the right decision, albeit a difficult one. While they all seem to have felt troubled by Ms Anthony's actions, that alone is NOT sufficient to make her legally guilty of murder. Unfortunately, Ms Grace seems intent on displaying her contempt for the system she purports to represent, denigrating the jurors for doing their jobs. While I am thankful that she is no longer a prosecutor, I am troubled that her twisted views of justice are allowed to influence the American public.

    July 9, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • enuffisenuff

      Deb K thanks for adding a smart blog to the debate that Nancy has once again gone too far with her personal views and attacks towards someone going through a trial. CNN needs to hear our voices about one of their own and take the appropriate actions before they eventually lose too many viewers that are boycotting Nancy Grace. Her show is no longer welcomed in our household. Glad HLN had other reporters reporting on the case after in session was done at 3pm eastern time.

      July 9, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. hippediva

    So what Ms. Ambulance Chaser is saying is "Don't do it the legal way. Do it my way. Nice to know how much this toad appreciates the true meaning of "rule of law'. She's a big part of CNN's fall from news to tabloid.

    July 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jesse thomas

    the 12 jurors did a great job and i am proud of them even if they had said guilty to threaten them is wrong we only saw the trail on tv we was not in the court room and to say definitive that we know she was guilty we cant say, nancy can but she dont know anything , any one who want to hurt casey or the jurors are just as evil as any child killer

    July 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      A great job! AND IN ONLY 10+ hrs. After a month long trial?
      BABY/CHILD KILLER: MOST EVIL OF ALL!!

      July 9, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dave

    This is a terrible crime, and I think Casey did it. Having said that, Nancy could you please stop using tot mom it is sooooooo stupid! Speak english!!

    July 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      I hate the "tot mom" crap too! NOW we can just say Casey and we all know a mom, real mom, does not kill her child!-and she is not mentally ill either, she is a spychopath= personality disorder, can't be treated.

      July 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
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