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. Lisa

    I don not agree with the jury they did not do their home work now the 5th jury is holding out to sell his interview to the highest bidder to the tune of 50,00000 what the hell is going on the jury should not be making money off of this .....Jury I hope you burn in hell you guys did not listen to the facts you guys were so lazy not even a look over on the evidence, I guess the jury does not care about that little girl.....fitting that 2 of them did not graduate HS.....the jury disregarded a lot of things in this trial I hope you guys burn in hell with Casey Anthony shame on you I do not care what you guys think when you talk you do not sound like you do not know what the hell happen and in all of this a little girl is dead.

    July 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      I agree Lisa, more so after to listening to Juror # 3 on her paid interview yesterday. If she can't have enough common sense to sort through the mounds of evedince and most important see through the smoke and mirrors that Biaz performed then I don't see how she'll pass the nursing boards. Guess going on TV and being a sell out and bringing no justice for Caylee is how these jurors are cashing in. Im beyond disapointed- they made a mochary of our justice system and failed Caylee! I guess the defense team did one thing right- they picked well in Jury selection and made a connection with weak minded individuals. All America watched this- many of us suffered abuse as children and none of us duct taped our babies and threw them in a swamp. Lets just hope Karma exist and that Equifax search team and the real Zanida sue her of all the money she'll make from her new found celebrity.She victomized so many from her lies and yet she smiles at sentancing- smile for what? Your babies gone!

      July 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name Not need

      You people are this stupid? Presumptions are not aloud in the court of law. if you PRESUME that she did it with the evidence, then you are doing no justice at all. There must be SOLID evidence that she did it, and there was not. You people are ignorant and need to be wiped off the face of the earth.

      July 9, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tonya

      Name no need..i would not name my name either after a post like that.**I worry for mankind**.:s..its not persumptions .holy.did you see the pros. evidence? the whole nation is a jury..lets take a poll..see how you lead in this election.

      July 9, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tonya

      Let me put this in perspective..you own a cherished and well loved Dog. i decided one day it was barking too much for my liking. No one was around. So i decided to strangle the mutt with duct tape around its nose and mouth. You seen this through the window..but no witnesses. Only hearsay..(I was wearing gloves) No DNA evidence. So no witnesses no DNA..you tell me how you will prove I did this.? Im off scott free.. (I would never hurt any animal or any living thing in my life, just giving an example):-)

      July 9, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nancy Pena

    I am proud nancy boldly proclaims tot mom guilty. Jurors, sadly were derelict in their duties. They misunderstood instruction and have let a child murderer go free.

    July 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • MJ

      Nancy disGrace is nothing more than a wornout, bloodlusting old hag that's not fit for civilized society. Casey is not guilty not because she's a stellar person, but because there was no evidence linking her to Caylee's death. It was pure speculation, and the jury did a fantastic job shooting it down and rendering a not guilty verdict.

      In my opinion, as far as her behavior for 31 days and the lying afterwards– there's no proof that she wasn't torn up about Caylee's death. I'm fairly sure she was. When people are stressed beyond their breaking points you will find people acting in erratic and irratiional ways (like partying, drinking, etc). I think Casey was trying to escape from reality. But again, that's speculation on my part. If you can't prove, with 100% certainty, that even a crime was committed (again, it may be entirely an accident), then how do you convict someone?

      Let's end Nancy's bloodlust before someone gets hurt.

      July 9, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tonya

      No "MJ" any civilized parent don't wait 31 days to report their own child missing! i don't even think I could go through hours tbh. And whats with the fake nanny?..and the other false claims? Was she high or something??!! (Shhh im trying to find my child, but im going to say she was with someone else, Im very certain that will help my cause)..yeah it seems very reasonable to me..:s

      July 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BL

    It's funny how the system "works" only if you agree with the outcome. If not, we condescendingly assume the jury got it wrong. If you don't like our humanly imperfect system, then change it. Otherwise, let it go and move on. Ironically, the one profiting the most now from the tragedy is Nancy Grace.

    July 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jonathan

    The jurors were cowards plain and simple. They didn't want to have to make that decision and their response is a complete cop out. The prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt not beyond any shadow of a doubt. It would be nice if there was always a smoking gun that proves without a doubt that someone is guilty or innocent but it doesn't ever work that way. The jury is supposed to, after hearing the evidence, connect the dots themselves and come to a reasonable conclusion as to what happened. Maybe they didn't prove it was murder one but to just let her walk entirely? By Casey's own admission she was present when Caylee died. Caylee's body was found dumped in the woods with duct tape over her mouth and nose. A reasonable person with any bit of intelligence can connect the dots and draw the conclusion that she almost certainly didn't die of natural causes.

    July 9, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan is retarded

      hahahahaha your a fool. Move to Russia you communist.

      July 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Hope

    Well just because the jury didnt agree doesnt mean that she is little miss inocent. She was last known person with her
    child and if she didnt murder her child then she knows someone else who did. Someone who lies so much is usually
    hiding the truth. But dont worry folks god sees everything and she will eventually have bad luck coming her way for what she knows and has done to her own daughterr. Wherever she goes when she gets out next week she will be noticed things will not be as easy for her in the long run. I believe things happen for reasons and sometimes out of our control. And Nancy Grace has every right to speak her opinions even if you dont care for her. HOPE O Jax Fl

    July 9, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. fielder

    The biggest problem I have is the jurors didn't review any evidence while deliberating and made they decision rather quickly. Disregarded this child was not reported missing 31 days and showed no emotions over her missing daughter and now dead. If this wasn't a high profile case or a man was accused...they would of been found guilty. An accident is something you don't hide or make into a murder case. If they bases there convictions on George Anthony lying about having an affair on the stand, then common sense was no where in this jurors mind set. People have affairs everyday and don't help there daughters turn accidents in to murders. I think they wanted away out of the court room and they succeeded that with a not guilty. Now one juror is on the media ride and just waiting for the others to make there debute for that payday. Baez did not win this case but of course he'll take the credit....this was nothing but a major side show and not a court of law.

    July 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike from Calgary

      If you are molesting Caylee and you left DNA evidence in her body, you'd get out the duct tape too, Too bad George didn't use DUCT TAPE for a better purpose ... LIKE HOLDING UP HIS PANTS AROUND CASEY, CAYLEE AND HOLLAWAY!

      July 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bluebird

    Nancy, God and Caylee were looking out for Casey and protected her AGAINST an unjust jury. That why this jury was picked, because of God's will.

    July 9, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bluebird is retarded

      ya that same god killed millions last year....apparently he has more kills racked up then the devil.

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

    Nancy, Jane and Company continue to fuel the fire of hatred against Anthony. While I acknowledge that Casey may have had responsibility for the crime, we have the finest justice system in the world and like it or not, with a jury agreed to by both the prosecution and defense, the Casey's responsibility for the crime was not proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Maybe Nancy should remember what she swore to when she passed the bar. It's a shame that it's still the "All Casey All the Time" Network. It's over move on!

    July 9, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rajiv

    This is Murder –
    The Mother will live the rest of her life in Guilt.

    July 9, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jane

    Guilty. What a lousy jury. A girl got away with murder!

    July 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Yasmin

    What bothers me the most is the fact that Defendants & Jury have more rights than a Victim. The Defense can lie, cheat,bamboozle the Jury & the prosecution has to present a case where there is no evidence. The Judge has no rights. So how do you expect to get justice. JUSTICE IS NOT BLIND>!! This is to fool people who are not law smart. How does a Little Girl like Caylee stand a chance. These are the most expert minds who have trained to lie for years (DEFENSE). And yet all I hear is that the verdict was fair. Where does this notion arise from. The whole system need to be revamped.

    July 9, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tonya

    i believe she murdered her daughter!..so now she is going free and about to make money off book dealings and movie dealing??!! Casey is clearly GUILTY!!

    July 9, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tonya

    i believe she murdered her daughter!..so now she is going free and about to make money off book dealings and movie dealing??!! Casey is clearly GUILTY!!..Where is the justice!! Even on TV. during court deliberations, its so obvious. The way she acted, EVERYTHING!! So we have one lil girl murdered, and her mother profiting from it!! What a friggin' lousy jury to say the least!!!!!..RIP poor lil girly:-) A whole nation found to know you over a TV set..but we all love you<3 God grant me patience in our world today</3

    July 9, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tonya

    Sara, if you believe that America has the best judicial system...i direct you to all the families of sworn "murderers, robbers.,rapists" this way -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->

    Some you might find in a graveyard..but give my regards also..:s

    July 9, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tonya

    i was being sarcastic btw..if you never knew. Some families are still grieving over false executions and imprisonment...it goes on..all justice systems are flawed...

    July 9, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
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