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. Anthony

    The trouble is this trial was played out on TV, it was treated in the same way as Pop Idol etc and Nancy Grace and othes turned from a trial to an entertainment , it became good for viewing numbers and she is trying to keep those numbers up.

    TV turned a trial into a "whodunnit" Tv serial and when the result was unexpected people were angry.

    My feeling is the whole family is is involved, not just Casey.

    USA has the best system in the world for justice expect when the "other "side win.You are all bound by law to accept the result, regardless whether you like it or not.

    Look at the lessons and protect the fu

    Grieve for Calee , Look at the lessons and protect the future childrens whereever possible, now the world must move on .

    July 9, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cliff

      Nancy Disgrace. Only give her the time and attention to show her for the disgrace she is not only to the legal profession but to humanity as a whole. Of, course, this is only my opinion.

      July 9, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • lotusjani

      Yes! the whole family was involved in it. They got under the bus themselves to save the killer!

      July 10, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. David W Fowler

    At this point...NOTHING matters but the fact that this little girl is gone and her Murderer(s) are walking free...I only hope and Pray that one day They get EVERYTHING they deserve!!!!!!!

    July 9, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      I apologize for my bad spelling

      July 9, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      To David fowler!
      100% AGREE!
      Way to say it!

      July 9, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Judith

    Why isn't Nancy Grace still in the courtroom seeking the "instant gratification" (her words) she derived when (again her words) "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."

    Perhaps not, but I imagine the $$$ is much better, the attention much greater, and the bully pulpit much louder and longer-lasting, eh Nancy? Just think how long you can milk aspects of this story and keep the public inflamed until you're ready to move on - dumb jurors, Tot Mom's life will be hell, will she profit monetarily, will she be stalked?

    Much material here for you, Nancy. Not to mention the interviews with mainstream media sources like CNN that spread your venom even further. Oh yes, the freedom of speech you enjoy (without the attendant responsibilities) provides its own form of instant gratification.

    July 9, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harris

      Apparently she was known to be a pretty lousy prosecutor (easily researched online). Likely would've gotten the same verdict, but anyway, yes, she's in the ghoul business now.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. Nicole

    I never once said that Casey Anthony is innocent in this! I believe with mt whole heart she's a sick liar who is to blame for her little Caylee's death! However I just have a hard time belieiving it wasn't an accident, which still doesn't make it right! Do not judge me or my opinions!
    I do not want to put all my energy into Casey!
    My energy and thoughts in this case are in little Caylee and her poor grandmother who has been put through hell!
    Some people need to stop giving all this attention to Casey and remember who is truely important here and that is Caylee!!

    July 9, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. grp6264

    I don't agree with the jury either. Even if they went with the defense theory that she had drowned, did she do CPR on her when she was found? Did she attempt to save her ? What medical background does she have to say her daughter was beyond saving? By not calling 911 she prevented Casey from getting the best care possible and not giving them a chance to save her. Wether her father found her or not she was there and as the primary caregiver she did not provide help for her daughter therefore aided in her death that's at least manslaughter.

    July 9, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Stevereeno

    Dear Nancy,

    Love, I hate you!

    Signed,

    Sick of your face on TV

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

    Nancy Grace is probably right on this but I'm sorry her voice is apt to give people seizures...

    July 9, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. carolyn sumner

    nancy grace eat your words i hope casy sues you for slander you and jane yall had that girl convicted befor she even went to court its wrong to judge read your bible look at her mom how maney times did you see her cry only 1 time that was on the stand she dident cry at the service or when thay found the body its like she was not surprised at all well good meeting your maker

    July 9, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Plr

      "it's wrong to judge"? Wasn't that what you were JUST doing in your comment ? silly hypocrites!!

      July 10, 2011 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. mike

    A former federal prosecutor.... and she now says the case is over as soon as the jury is picked. That is how little she thinks of evidence, proof of guilt or the judical system of the USA. I think she is the one that should be in jail.

    July 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Name Not need

    Tell me earlier why my post was deleted, or CNN will get a law suit for disrupting my freedom of speech. Nancy Grace...get a new job.

    July 10, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. Michael Mallon

    "The jury hamstrung the state." Yeah, sorry for bursting your "I don't even need an official cause of death before I accuse someone of murder." I think at the very least, we need to confirm Caylee was actually killed by someone before we potentially put a needle in their arm. I don't know if Casey killed her daughter, or why. I don't know if ANYbody killed her daughter. But I know what the prosecution failed to prove, and that's murder.

    July 10, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mary

    Wow loved this interview. Agreed. If Casey wants to redeem herself she should admit she's guilty and go to jail. Whooo Hoo!
    Spot on! And yes Caylee IS where her mother can't hurt her anymore. Those two comments did my heart good.

    July 10, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. Plr

    Looks like Nancy Grace wins... you keep watching her on tv and reading about her...its not going to matter if you hate her guts lol. You silly people are giving her awesome ratings and that's the reason she's making bank.

    Also, I completely agree with her.

    July 10, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mary

    Casey was happy that Caylee was dead. She was happy.

    July 10, 2011 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. Gary Garrison

    Ms Grace, You are, in my opinion, a disgrace to the broadcasting profession along with your HLN associates who used just about every negative adjective in reporting in a most biased way the Anthony trial. Please be reminded Ms Grace that this is America, and 12 jurors found Ms Anthony NOT GUILTY. Therefore whether you agree or not you and everyone else should accept the verdict and stop the negative blabbering that is based on your bloody opinions which really do not matter one whit. So do the world and Ms Anthony a favor and get off your high horse and move on to badgering and demeaning someone else.

    Respectfully,

    Gary Garrison
    Former Radio and TV Assistant News Director

    July 10, 2011 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
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