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. peter

    I I have never watched more than a few min of Ms Gracesless's show, but enough to know I should switch channels [post haste least I become infected with something. I'm just wondering if this shrew of a woman has ever thought anyone innocent. From what little I have seen of her show , she has already decided the guilt of the person before a trial has ever gotten underway. That is generally the way a persecutor operates. I can't believe anyone actually pays her to do her routine on the National airwaves.

    July 10, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. DetroitMan

    Give it up, Nancy. Your one woman crusade against Casey Anthony is everything that is wrong with the American media today. You demand that that your opinion be taken as fact. An intelligent jury disagreed with you.

    You have nobody to blame but yourself. YOU turned this case into a media circus. Because of that, it was moved to a new county to find an untainted jury pool. That means YOU directly participated in the selection of every single one of those jurors that you so vehemently disagree with. And the publicity YOU created has created Casey Anthony's opportunity for book deals.

    Do I think Casey Anthony is innocent? I wouldn't be my life on it. Still, I accept that the prosecution and the police botched this one. In particular, they ignored tips that would have lead them to body in time to gather some real forensic evidence. Also, the motive for premeditated murder was ridiculous. She could have continued dumping Caylee on her parents. If Casey Anthony was as selfish as they claimed, why would she risk a murder conviction when there was an easier, better option? Second degree murder, manslaughter, or willful neglect would have been much easier to prove, but they went for the gold in this disgusting media drama. They deserve their failure, and so do you.

    How sad that you "don't give a fig" about your role in this mess. You either complicated an already difficult case against a guilty woman, or you perpetrated a character assassination against an innocent woman. Those are the only two explanations for your part in this. You never own your mistakes. You are out for the blood of anyone accused of a crime. We're fortunate that our legal system presumes innocence until guilt is proven. If we did it your way, we would have endless Salem Witch Trials. I, for one, am sick of hearing you sulk. The day your show is cancelled will be a small victory for American justice and culture.

    July 10, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Anne

      exactly

      July 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Nancy can't help it but she is still employed by the news station. Remember she is stupid and that can not be fixed.
      CASEY FOR PRESIDENT

      July 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Larry

    Nancy Grace makes CNN look like Fox News. Her personal opinions are as tainted as her background as a failed prosecutor. I left Fox and I'll leave CNN if Nancy Grace represents "news" by airing her personal opinions on "her" choice of subjects. Hope this doesn't spread

    July 10, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mike from Calgary

    I know that it is tornado season, but still sad to see the DR, DREW got sucked up in Nancy Disgrace's VORTEX OF VENOM!

    July 10, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mike from Calgary

    Nancy Disgrace can not help it. She is like a kid who get a carpenters set with a hammer and she sees people as nails. She is living her life looking for someone to hammer and continue hammering ... even if it kills a 21 year old woman like Melinda Duckett in 2006.
    Nancy is a negative person who always sees the bad in any situation. She loves to take the joy out of peoples lives. She doesn't share the view that "Life is beautiful" ... rather life should be an ordeal, a vale of tears, and people should not celebrate life or hard work. Rather they should harangue and torment and perseucute others with or without any basis whatsoever! To hell with the rights of Americans to be presumed innocent and to have the right to make full answer and defence, Nancy Disgrace has spoken EX CATHEDRA that Caylee was murdered and Casey did it. Jury looked each witness in the eyes and unanimously 12-0 said that Nancy was wrong! The Florida State Attorney after the verdict said that the state in fact did not know if Caylee was lkilled they did not know how she died!
    All we know is that a timely autopsy (that would disclose forign DNA in Caylee's body) was not wanted by a guy with duct tape identical to that of George Anthony. Don't expect that Casey was the moplestor with such duct tape!

    July 10, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. Thanks

    Thank God for Nancy Grace. Her dedication to child welfare and exposing the dregs of our society is unsurpassed by anyone today or in recent memory. It is very clear there is no-one more willing to support any cause so vigorously while tending her own family responsibilities. Thank you Nancy Grace for giving up your family time for those of us not willing to do so. We are eternally grateful we have you to expose the rotten part of our culture that would rather espouse some liberal rhetoric than offer any help to guiltless children who cannot help themselves. Please keep up the phenomenal good work. If I had the means to endow your financial freedom so you could devote even more time to this cause, I would do it immediately.

    July 10, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. Lucy

    I agree with Nancy, the jury was clueless. They did as Marcia Clark so eloquently stated .... “confused reasonable doubt with reason to doubt”! Their reason for acquittal were excuses. If they would have done their due diligence they would have reviewed the evidence, asked the judge questions, and at the very least taken notes. But they wanted to go home, they did not want to be sequestered any more so they chose the easy way out. As a juror, you have a responsibility to do your duty to the best of your ability. Dan Adrams from ABC News indicated that : "It is much easier to acquit then to convict" So True! I suppose the only type of evidence that would have satisfied the jury would have been a video of Casey Anthony murdering her child. But even then they probably would have looked at the video and questioned if it was really her in the video...... A "USA Today/Gallup Poll indicates nearly two-thirds of Americans believe Casey Anthony definitely or probably murdered her daughter....which means that 2/3 of Americans agree with Nancy Grace!!! As do I!!!

    July 10, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • DetroitMan

      Really, you were there, and the jury said they just want to go home? That's hearsay, just like everything Nancy Grace said about this case. The prosecution FAILED to prove that compounds in Casey's trunk could only come from a human body. They FAILED to prove that the duct tape had been placed on Caylee by Casey. Three other people lived in that house who had access. They FAILED to prove that any chloroform was produced, or even that it was Casey who did the web search (Cindy's perjury aside). Their evidence was tenuous. I would not, in good conscience, condemn a defendant to death without a tangible link to the crime. I don't need a video, but I need more than a bunch of hearsay and conjecture.

      Who cares if "2/3 of the people in this country agree with Nancy Grace"? We don't conduct trials by media or Gallup Polls in this country, and Nancy Grace is not a judge. Thank God for both. We have system of laws designed to protect the innocent. Sometimes it fails and guilty people walk. I would rather have that than hang innocent people just because somebody has a gut feeling they did it. Our founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they heard this nonsensical rage at the trial's outcome.

      July 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chad in Boston

    Nancy Grace serves no purpose other than to taint jury pools and convict defendants in the could of public opinion before the trial even starts. Do the right thing CNN, and take her off the air.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve from Salem, Ma.

      Chad your not only right, you forgot to mention as happend in salem that this case was a public witch hunt and if one didn't agree with the public they'd be condemed too!
      The jury has decided and if casey is hurt or killed I hope another jury will remember what justice really is and send the killer to hell.

      July 10, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Julia

    OMG, I wish all the mouthy people on HLN would give it a break! Case is over, what is done is done. Nancy and her cronies need to have some duct-tape put over their mouths. They, the media get sicker and sicker, and now they are just insighting the public. Do I think that she is guilty, probably? But I believe the jury did their job and with the evidence they had. HLN, them alone, and Jane you should stop saying all those derogatory reamarks about the caliber of the jurors. You're bad .............................. really bad.

    Give it a break HLN.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    Grace is the most vile person on TV. Why a major news network would pay her to act like a she-wolf is beyond my comprehension.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. Christy

    The jury deliberated a little over 10 hours to decide to disregard the 31 days, the death smell, the duct tapes and casey's own scoff at the idea Caylee drowned. This is just a small part of what they decided to ignore. They hated George so they decided the killing of his granddaughter was ok.
    Cindy loved the casey she wanted her to be, not the casey she was. For that reason, she chose to lie for her daughter instead of standing up for her granddaughter. I also love my grown children, they are my life. But I could not swear on a Bible and lie like the Anthonys and the jury members did. My children and grandchildren love and respect us.. They also have integrety and know I will always love them but would not support them killing my grandchild. I do not believe George molested her but if he did it everyday and twice on Sundays it does not excuse murdering a child. Or not reporting a missing child for 31 days. Nothing excuses that.

    July 10, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  12. Lori

    Dead body decomposing in the trunk of her car – NEVER actually reported her child missing – remains found in swamp – last person seen with child – cell phone pings show her activity – Enough said – GUILTY.

    July 10, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. john

    What the media is now doing, especially Nancy Grace is disgusting! Demonizing this jury is wrong and dangerous! She is creating an atmosphere of hate and vigilante "justice" that may lead to yet another tragedy. If one of these innocent jurors ends up hurt or worse, their blood is on her hands and the hands of many others in the media.

    July 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dolly

    oh nancy grace is on the money when she talks about casey i believe she killed that baby just to be free very very selfish person or bettere jet what a monster but one day she would face god i hope she has a answer for him

    July 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Philip Porembski

    you want people to break the law and people want to break the law... probably because you want them to break the law

    July 10, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
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