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. Ted

    Nancy Grace is an incompetent fool. If you watch her show you are a mindless idiot. Our jury system worked because there was a lack of evidence. The prosecutors should have to pay all of the costs for wasting everyones time. Get over it folks, it doesn't affect you, it's only a spectacle that vultures like Nancy make money off of.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. Brande

    I am not sure that is will be all that easy for Casey once she gets out, ya know" you can run but you can't hide" i beleive God has bigger plans for her, let nature take its course, i say..... Casey has made a deal with the devil, remember the court video where she didn't think she was on Camera, the look that came over her... i knew then the devil has her soul, she has gotten away with Murder all her life, i think the people that know her are afraid of her. just listen to they way her parents talk to her,and how she always wants her brother. being not guilty doesn't mean she is inocent....let her out so we dont have to pay for her anymore....let her out into the world so the higher Judge can sentence her to what she justy deserves..... Rest in peace Caylee, you won't be forgotten..

    July 14, 2011 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mike Duffy

    Heard that Don King is trying to arrange a boxing match between Nancy Grace and the tot mom. As an alternate for Nancy – Tonya Harding is being considered.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carolee Wood

      This really close to obscene and not funny.

      If you have not known or worked with victims of child abuse by the parent, you haven't a clue. As a teacher/counselor,
      I have gained experience. In my extended family, I have witnessed the behavior of abusers and the abused. First step is to discredit the victim by calling her or him a liar. Establish that you have a defective child who lies. Then abuse.

      We are not a vigilante society. We don't and ask questions later. HLN has used this story to increase audience. I am disappointed in Nancy Grace's rigid declaration of guilt.

      Luckily, the jury watched and listened to George Anthony. What sort of a father repeatedly defends himself while pointing
      at his daughter? The answer is: a pedophile.

      July 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frenchy

      Carolee–
      so– if a parent who hasn't molested their child and knows his child is a liar, and believes his child committed murder, you believe that they would not accuse their child of lying and stand behind their child's supposed innocence and do everything they could to not have their child face the punishment? –Because, at first, George Anthony DID maintain Casey's innocence in the disappearance of her daughter Caylee.
      Are you also saying that Casey did not lie to the police about where she worked, who she left the child with and who her child's playmates were?
      Yeah, abusers will call their victims liars, for sure, but in this case, Casey proved she was a liar all by herself, without Daddy having to call her out in public first. She lied to the police, she lied to her parents, she lied to her friends.

      I believe George Anthony suffers from something you may have heard about in your dealings with abused people: it's called "survivor guilt". George knew Casey was a crappy mother from the start– not even admitting to family members about her obvious pregnancy. He knew Casey was party girl who did drugs and hung out with a bad crowd and asked her parents to babysit for her so she could go out and party, and she probably never returned home on time, and left Caylee in their care for a few days at a time so she could be with her boyfriends. George had always hoped that Casey would "come around" and become a responsible parent but with enabler-mom Cindy, he probably could only put his foot down so far before being castigated by his wife. And when Caylee went missing, he started to, as a former law enforcement agent, piece together the little clues that had been left behind– the odor of death in the car, why he and his wife were not allowed to speak with their granddaughter on the phone during that time she was supposedly with "the nanny", and realized his own child had more than likely killed her own daughter, his granddaughter who had brought so much love and light to him and his wife.

      July 21, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
    • cdgfla

      That was awesome Duffy. LOL!!!!!! I would pay to see that for sure. Go Casey!!!

      July 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. David Ivancheck

    Imagine this: casey anthony getting into a car, drunk as a skunk, and getting behind the wheel of a car and then going through a read light and T-BONING Baez and Mason. When you have to use something as weak a the father and the brother molesting casey, and then the mother possible leaving the latter up on the pool, you expose your client for who she really was...it's just a shame the jury didn't clearly see her for who she was. Beaz blamed everyone but Nancy Grace for the untimely death a Cailey, why would you have to do that for someone you know is NOT GUILTY?

    July 14, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carolee Wood

      You just do not get it.

      No rational jury can convict a person of first degree murder if they do not know the cause of death, the time of death.

      Every credible witness said a) there was no body in Casey's car; b) the chloraform evidence was non-existant; c) the tape alleged to be on Caylee's face was probably on the plastic bag. Arpage Vass, the prosecution's witness had no
      credibility with forensic scientist that testified. In fact, he was never a forensic scientist. He was a lab tech who conducted sloppy research that could not be repeated. Other that the prosecution's theory's, there was no evidence of a murder. No sane jury could have convicted with only disproven theories.

      July 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carolee Wood

      You just do not get it.

      No rational jury can convict a person of first degree murder if they do not know the cause of death, the time of death.

      Every credible witness said a) there was no body in Casey's car; b) the chloraform evidence was non-existant; c) the tape alleged to be on Caylee's face was probably on the plastic bag. Arpage Vass, the prosecution's witness had no
      credibility with forensic scientist that testified. In fact, he was never a forensic scientist. He was a lab tech who conducted sloppy research that could not be repeated. Other that the prosecution's theory's, there was no evidence of a murder.

      July 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carolee Wood

      You just do not get it.

      No rational jury can convict a person of first degree murder if they do not know the cause of death, the time of death.

      Every credible witness said a) there was no body in Casey's car; b) the chloraform evidence was non-existant; c) the tape alleged to be on Caylee's face was probably on placed on the plastic bag.

      July 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Patti

    The Casey Anthony juror's were stupid and did not follow proper instructions.Caylee died on her mothers watch.With the evidence presented Casey should have gotten manslaughter at the very least. Casey did not report her daughter missing after 31 days, her mother did. And I am appalled by any juror profiting money from the death of a beautiful innocent child.

    July 15, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Kalos

      The lazy, can't put a puzzle together 12, do not understand instructions, did not understand their responsibility (especially for a case that took 3 years to prepare for) and may I remind you, they did like Jose! He had them so confused, they decided to go with confusion, if it doesn't make sense, it must be right. They didn't even take time, or had enough sense to ask the judge for clarification on charges? Duh, maybe they could have figured out how to get one of the first three charges, knowing that she was guilty???? Shame, Shame on the jury.

      July 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. janie

    why has any ONE not mentioned the fact that GEORGE AND CIINDY ARE THE ONES THAT( CLEANED) OUT THE CAR THAT THE SMEEL OF DEATH WAS IN?

    July 15, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • wini

      cindy not george sprayed the car w/febreze but still could not get the smell out. I think both of them knew something bad had happened, but did not want to admit it. I do believe that Callie was put in the trunk by Casey and that she and she along killed her baby. So that she could go out and party and Casey did not want Cindy to have Callie, because Callie adored her grandmother.

      July 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lea

    I am so sick of hearing IDIOTS say that "a jury cannot convict if they don't know cause or time of death." BULL! Are you then saying the jury for Scott Peterson was wrong?? So just because a murderer wasn't witnessed and they covered their tracks well and the evidence decomposed with the body, that gives them the right to be acquitted?! If that's the law of our country and judicial system then I know a few people I would love to rid the world of and I should do it since our system will let me go anyway. I'm moving to Europe!

    July 15, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. julie

    I am watching the video of Casey talking to her parents. These people are so weird. They did a really good job of creating this monster. She will be manipulating them for the rest of their lives.

    July 15, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RICHARD BREITHAUPT

    CASEY IS RESPONCEABEL FOR HER CHILD NO MATTER WHAT SHE KNOWS WHAT HAPPEND TO HER CHILD THE STATE DID A GRAT JOB ON PROVING THAT SHE DID IT EVEN THOW NO ONE SEEN HER DO IT THE EVADENCE POINTS TO HER NOW SHE IS NOWEN AS A BABY KILLER EVEN THOW THE JURY FOUND HER NOT GUILTY I BLOVE THERE WERE WRONG SHE IS GOING TO BE LOOKING OVER HER SHOLDER THE REST OF HER LIFE NO ONE SEEN SCOTT PETERSON KILL HES WIFE AND UNBORN CHILD THERE WAS VERY LITTLE EVADENCE TO PROVE THAT HE DID IT NAW HE SITES ON DITH ROW WHER IS THE JUSTIS WHEN ONE PERSON GOTS OFF FOR MUDER AND SOME ONE ELSE IS ON DETH ROW

    July 16, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tim

    A few items on the talks today on the news
    1. The news asked if Casey Anthony she should be protected after release. I believe yes due to the way the news has ensured that she will not be able to go out on her own and NOT be in danger.

    2. The so called look alike in OK, I have seen the picture and she does not look anything like her, I believe she is just trying to use that for what ever happened to her and get what she can. And again as per looking alike I do not see it.

    3. Casey Anthony will be in danger when released due to the fact the news is making it that way by insisting she should have been found guilty and not congratulating her defense team, that did a good job and she is going free.

    July 16, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. vfr3000

    Nancy Grace is a Dis-Grace to the legal profession.
    A spiteful vendictive person who used this sad story to forfill her own ends.......RATINGS.

    Mutton dressed as Lamb with about the same IQ.

    July 18, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  12. Linda

    I will never forget the look's on casey's face while her mother was on the stand, she did not care that this was killing her mother and her father! She wanted her FREEDOM! More than she cared about CAYLEE MOM ARE DAD! You could see it in her FACE! She HATED CAYLEE HER MOM AND HER DAD! Do you think it hurt her to say those's thing's about her dad knowing it untrue! NO IT DID NOT, ALL SHE CARED ABOUT WAS HER FREEDOM! THAT'S WHERE IT START'S AND END'S! HER FREEDOM, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, THAT FREEDOM IS GOING TO GET HER IN THE END!!!!!

    July 18, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. Casey = Murderer

    Casey murdered Caylee. Period.

    July 22, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. Lilly

    Carolee
    I am a victim of child abuse. What really makes me mad is the nerve Casey had to allow her attorneys to say she was abused by her father and have people like you so quick to believe her when there was never any proof. No former teachers or nurses or even friends ever said that Casey ever came across as being abused or had make believe chidhood friends. I am one of those victimes that is a happy mom with two beautiful children and would kill anyone who tried to hurt them. Casey, did the opposite!!!

    July 25, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. melanie

    Nancy is 100 percent right in every answer!! I REALLY ADMIRE NANCY GRACE....I Just LOVE her!!!!!!!!

    July 27, 2011 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
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