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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Encore Presentation: Interview With Nancy Grace

Aired July 17, 2005 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Nancy Grace. She's tough, outspoken, controversial, and now the former prosecutor's first interview on her first and new book, about her "Objection" to how justice works and doesn't work in America today. She's here for the hour. We'll take your calls. She's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We're celebrating our 20th anniversary. I want to thank all the people, our staff, everyone associated with all the incredible programs that we put on all last week in New York, and in Maine and in Washington. We thank them all. They did yeoman-like work. Terrific people we work with here at CNN.

We also work with another terrific young lady, Nancy Grace. She's the host of "NANCY GRACE" on CNN HEADLINE prime-time. She's right there in the middle of it. She's the Court TV anchor and former prosecutor and author of a new book, "Objection!: How High-Priced Defense Attorneys, Celebrity Defendants and 24-7 Media Have Hijacked Our Criminal Justice System." There you see its cover. Congratulations on the publication, Nancy.

Give me the genesis of this, how the book came about.

NANCY GRACE, HOST, "NANCY GRACE": Well, Larry, I was approached -- first of all, thank you for having me on.

KING: Thank you.

GRACE: And I want to say right up front, Larry, that a portion of my proceeds are going to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and I want to thank you on behalf of them, too, Larry.

I was approached when I first came to New York, Larry, long before I ever met you, when my co-host and sparring partner was Johnnie Cochran, on "Cochran and Grace." And at that time, I came this close to signing a contract to do a book. But, Larry, I had never told the story about the murder of my fiance at that time. And when it got time to do it, I backed out.

All the years I prosecuted, Larry, I never breathed a word of it. And I just was not ready to tell that story yet.

KING: Why now?

GRACE: Well, Larry, actually, the first time I ever told the story was to you, as you will recall. And...

KING: I remember.

GRACE: ... I had worked so long with your producers, and with Dan Sekova (ph), who first put me on your show, and they thought it was a story of merit to tell. And so, I told it. My knees were actually knocking when I left your studio after telling that story.

And the more I started watching trials, Larry, at Court TV, on your show, and now at HEADLINE NEWS, I got a different perspective from being in the midst of the battle. It's like hand-to-hand mutual combat, Larry, every jury trial, especially violent felonies. There's a lot to lose. Somebody is going to jail, or going to the death penalty.

The pressure is incredible. And when you're in the middle of a battle, you can't really look at it. But when I sat back and started analyzing trials, like Michael Jackson, like Scott Peterson, like Robert Blake, it all solidified and crystallized, Larry. And I do have an objection to the way lady justice is treated in court.

KING: And this book is there for your theory, your thesis? It's not a biography?

GRACE: Oh, no. No. I would never bore everybody like that. It talks in the introduction where I am a co-author, with Diane Clehane, went through all the trials that are happening now, the high-profile trials and other trials of regular people. These are our courtrooms, Larry, not just the A-list celebrity courtrooms. Trials that matter and make a difference to people are in this book.

KING: Did you enjoy doing it?

GRACE: Oh, good Lord! Larry, every chapter was like giving birth. My co-author, man, she was a toughy. She would tell me when the next chapter was due. And I would be doing your show as a guest, and then get home, order Chinese and start writing at 11:30. I would get dribbles and bits sent in at 11:59 the night of the deadline, so I could say I met the deadline.

It was hard work. And also, Larry, writing this book, I had to relive a lot of trials that I prosecuted in inner city Atlanta. And that was very, very difficult. Once I started thinking about it, all types of memories of courtroom battles and especially violent crime victims and their families just rushed back like it happened yesterday.

KING: Are you going to do the proverbial book tour?

GRACE: Yeah, I am, as a matter of fact. And you so kindly have kicked it off for me tonight. And I'm starting tonight.

KING: Are you going to take some time off or are you going to do satellites?

GRACE; I'm going to do both. I'm heading down to my hometown of Macon, Georgia, over the weekend, Atlanta, all over.

KING: Hey, if they make a movie, who will play you?

GRACE: Larry, who's going to play you? Because you're in here.

KING: I know. I know.

GRACE: Larry, so many nights when I would duke it out on your show with defense attorneys like Mark Geragos, like Johnnie Cochran and so many others, I got to know those victims as well. For instance, the Ed Smart family, Ed and Lois Smart, Elizabeth Smart's family. Brenda van Dam. Marc Klaas. So many crime victims who have made a difference in my life.

KING: Speaking of the book and the subtitle, Mark Geragos was here last night.

GRACE: Oh, really? I didn't know.

KING: Oh, we had some hour with him. And he had some complaints about the system as well. He doesn't like the 24/7. He thinks if he made a mistake, and he made some in the Peterson trial, he would have had cameras in the courtroom, or he'd go to the British system. He said our system has gotten so bad, maybe we should do no coverage of trials until they're over. Your thoughts.

GRACE: Well, it will be a cold day in the Antarctic when Mark Geragos is afraid of a camera, OK, or turns away from a camera.

KING: But he argued against it in the Peterson trial.

GRACE: Well, he waffled. First of all, he said no. Then he said, OK, cover the whole preliminary hearing. Then he went back to no again. So he waffled even on the issue of a camera in the courtroom. And what bit him in the neck is going on air and allowing his defense to be made public before he presented it to a jury, before a jury had even been selected.

KING: But he is complaining about the same system you are. So, he's a defense attorney; you're a prosecutor. And both of you don't like what's going on.

GRACE: Well, I like certain aspects...

KING: Is there a middle here?

GRACE: Yeah, I think there is. I like certain aspects of it, Larry, because I thought about it myself, I behave a lot differently at home when I'm walking around in my socks as opposed to when I'm at work or in the courtroom. And believe you me, lawyers and especially judges act a whole lot better when the camera is watching them. It's just human nature.

But going on air before your trial and saying, Laci Peterson was killed by a Satanic cult -- no, it was a love besided (ph) neighbor -- no, it was a Hawaiian gang -- no, it was a burglar -- at a certain point, you got to pick a theory and go with it.

KING: All right. Isn't it also wrong to go on and say it was the husband, since you don't know?

GRACE: Well, you know what...

KING: Isn't that also wrong, to pre-judge any trial? Isn't that one of the mistakes, not just you...

GRACE: I think it's wrong for...

KING: ... prosecutors and defense attorneys tend to, and they debate on all these shows, the prosecutors for conviction and the defense attorneys for non-conviction, it don't matter what the trial is.

GRACE: You know, what happened? I thought I was in America. Is this communist China? What's wrong is for a juror to pre-judge the case. They should be booted out on their bootie! But for us, for people that are not sitting on the jury, we can have an opinion, and we can say so.

KING: What about the jurors who watch you?

GRACE: The jurors who watch me and other trial lawyers should not be on the jury. And if they are watching...

KING: But how are they going to prevent them from watching and...?

GRACE: Very simple matter of voir dire. Very simple matter of voir dire. Remember in the Scott Peterson case, the jurors found out one of them, at the time she was juror number seven, a lovely lady -- I watched her throughout the trial -- had done her own investigation. I think what she did was go on the Internet and look something up. Oh, they ratted her out, pronto. And when it is known that a juror is making a decision based on anything outside that courtroom, they're off. They're out of there.

KING: So you have no doubt that no juror watches television?

GRACE: No, I can't say that. I don't know that some of them don't watch television.

KING: And therefore, that's bad?

GRACE: It certainly is bad. And you know whose responsibility that is? It's not yours. It's the trial court and it's the lawyers, to guard their case.

I remember distinctly when I tried cases for my old boss. Larry, he had been the longest-serving D.A. in the country, Louis Clegg (ph), 37 years, he was like a grandfather to me. And he told me trial number one, it was a shoplifting case, Larry, where the guy actually didn't even steal anything. I got a conviction on attempted shoplifting. That's where it all started, Larry. He told me, day one, do not speak to the press. If you must, say one thing, that you believe in the justice system, and I stuck with that for 10 years. KING: We'll take a break and come back. We'll be including your phone calls. We'll ask about, of course, the Jackson trial, the jury is still out. The book is "Objection!" It is now available everywhere books are sold. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: The murder of 9-year-old Jessie Lunsford has galvanized the country.

MARK LUNSFORD, FATHER: She's right here with me, and that's what keeps me going.

GRACE: I remember the day it was announced that he had been named judge. Everybody said, thank God somebody like Barnes has been named to the bench.

Elizabeth became a widow the night James Gottlieb (ph) was gunned down by a man apparently pretending to be a police officer.

How are your children doing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They can't get over the loss, especially my daughter, who's 8.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Mark Geragos, star witness for the defense today. He entered the courthouse with his customary sun glasses and ever-present cell phone.

There you go, Mark, keep it going, buddy.

Nancy Grace calling Mark Geragos -- time to report to court, another high-profile celebrity defendant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Nancy Grace. Her book is titled "Objection!"

We'll be going to your...

GRACE: Hey, Larry.

KING: You're reading from your -- oh sorry to bother you.

Do you dislike defense attorneys?

GRACE: A little. Yes.

Yes. OK. I do. KING: And they dislike prosecutors, right?

GRACE: Yes, and they...

KING: And both have good cause often?

GRACE: And they hate me back.

KING: Don't they -- often both sides have good cause to dislike each other?

GRACE: They certainly do.

KING: Because it's an adversary system?

GRACE: It really is, Larry, and we say that a lot on TV, but it is the truth. You get in there and you fight tooth and nail. And I remember standing up, and I'll be questioning a witness here, the judge up there, who I try often to ignore, and over here would be the jury.

And I could feel the victim's family just looking at me from behind, from the front row, waiting for -- oh, that's a very bad hair day -- but, I remember that trial. That was a murder case.

KING: What about fighting fear?

You were admonished -- there was a picture in "The L.A. Times," I'm sure you saw it. Even though they upheld the conviction in a case you prosecuted, the three-judge panel in Fulton county, they faulted you for not disclosing, to the defense, information about other possible suspects. Criticize you for using -- possibly using a detectives false testimony. How do you respond to that?

GRACE: I respond with the truth. What they said was "I played fast and loose with the rules," and since you asked what happened, I'll tell you. That case was a triple homicide. It was a drug turf battle that went down around 11:10 p.m. on a Sunday night, on the playground of a housing project.

It was an execution-style murder of three young men, one really just a boy, over drug turf. And this is what happened, Larry: there was one trigger man, and he, execution style, killed three young men. Behind him was a group of guys -- we know of six.

I got four of them. Those four got 18 months behind bars for just being there and being part of it. Two of them got away. Two of them got away. I told the jury in opening statement, listen, this is the trigger man and I'm going to bring you an eyewitness that says this is the trigger man that killed three people.

One of the boys that was killed, had chain link on his face. When I first saw it, I didn't even know what it was. I had to drive to the medical examiner and say "What happened to his face?"

He was trying to get away and he hung on the fence like that until the police took him down. I told the jury that there were two guys that got away and God help us, one day they'd be in court too. I put up a witness on the stand that described everyone, even said the other two guys had a gun in their hand, but were not the trigger person.

In my closing statement, I argued it again, and here is where the court found a problem.

In these other two guys' actual files -- their criminal files, which I do not have, there was an arrest warrant on I -- both of them, and I didn't give that piece of paper, the arrest warrant, to the defense before trial.

Although they knew about it, it was discussed in court, it wasn't handed -- that document, the arrest warrant, was not part of my file. The detective got on the stand and they said, "Are there other suspects?" and he said, "no."

But we had already told the jury about all seven. So, at the time, I didn't understand that they were asking about...

KING: I see.

GRACE: ... The two we had already told the jury about.

KING: What about using false testimony?

GRACE: And that conviction -- that's what I'm talking about when the detective said, "No, there aren't any other suspects," it's because I'd already told the jury about them.

But you know what, the court of appeals has a very high standard, and they are right to be hard on lawyers. The reality is, in bank, full court of all the justices upheld that triple murder.

And I only wonder what would become of those victims had they lived. You know what, Larry? Another thing, that case was so brutal, in fact, one of the crime scene pictures showed blood running down the gutter, that after that trial, I nearly quit practicing law.

I felt so saturated with violence, and hatred, and my mom gave me this ring, which I wear today. It's three rows of diamonds. My mom and dad gave it to me for the three victims in that case, to encourage me to keep fighting. And I still wear that today.

KING: When you have been admonished, do you learn from that?

GRACE: Yes, I do. And another admonishment I got, I was trying a trafficker of heroin and in my closing argument I said to the jury, "Do you know what drugs are? do you know what heroin is? it's shoot outs at bodegas and 7/11s. It's burglaries, it's robberies to get drug money. It's 12-year-old pushers and addicts. If you want to stop crime, you can start today. You can convict that guy over there and send him to jail. He's a crime wave."

And the court of appeals said that since there was no murder charge, or robbery or burglary, that, was inappropriate. And I learned from that and I never made that argument again.

KING: We'll be right back.

We'll ask her about the Jackson case.

We'll be taking your phone calls.

The book is "Objection!: How High-Priced Defense Attorneys, Celebrity Defendants and a 24/7 Media Have Attach Our Criminal Justice System," it is fresh out and this is her first appearance for that book.

Don't go way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Members of the jury, we have given you overwhelming evidence leading up to the day of the plot; his plans; his actions; his plotting; his scheming. You think it was hard for him to take an object, any object, anything, and whack her on the head?

No.

He didn't care about her.

He did not love her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Christmas Eve, eight months pregnant. He says he leaves at 9:30 in the morning; she's going to go walk the dog. One hour, it's over. At 10:30, neighbors find the dog wandering the neighborhood, leash muddy, attached to the car. Nobody saw a struggle. Nobody heard a thing. No evidence in the home. Very unusual.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Nancy, what are your thoughts, overview of the Jackson case, now that it's over?

GRACE: Yeah. I think that the jury is likely -- now, of course, after Jennifer Wilbanks pulled the wool over my eyes -- I was convinced some meth freak had stuffed her in the back of a trunk. She got me but good. But I'll go out on a limb here. I think the jury is likely to split the baby. We know that they're arguing over something back there. They've been out over 13 hours.

I think the weakest part of the state's case, the conspiracy charges, conspiracy alleged against the Jackson camp and Jackson to keep the boy and his family on Neverland. True, Larry, they did do some things to keep the boy there. They said, in writing, don't let him leave. They tried to ship the family out of the country to Brazil, took their furniture out of their apartment, wouldn't give it back, wouldn't get their passports and visas.

But to the defense's credit, there was ample chance for the mom to leave, take her kids with her if she wanted to. She didn't do that.

So, I think if anything falls, it will be the conspiracy charges. That leaves us looking at the molestation, the fondling charges and the alcohol charges.

KING: And how do you think that will go?

GRACE: I think that he's going to get convicted on either of those two counts.

KING: But one is a misdemeanor, though, right?

GRACE: Yes, well, the way they have got it set up, it's a felony in the indictment to feed alcohol to the minor for purposes of sex, but, you're right, the judge also gave a misdemeanor, a lesser included offense, of simply feeding alcohol to a minor. Like a bartender giving alcohol to an underaged, yeah.

KING: Is this a tough one? Have both sides done well here?

GRACE: They really have. I've got to tell you, Zonen's closing argument for the state, incredible. The way they worked in the evidence, including the boy's confession, his statement to police -- dramatic, powerful. Nobody can take anything away from Mesereau. Mesereau's tried a lot of high-profile cases, and he really laid it on the line to this jury.

Also, his -- the other attorney that helps him, Yu, Ms. Yu, she's the one in charge of all the presentations to the jury that are done by computer. Very, very effective. It was a fight to the finish, Larry. And let me tell you something. You were talking about not liking defense attorneys and them not liking me -- it is so true. The animosity in that courtroom, from what our reporter says, so thick, you can cut it with a knife.

KING: How well was it judged in your opinion?

GRACE: I thought Melville did a great job. He kind of threw me off track when he said Jackson's camp had not introduced good character. They played those Bashir outtakes -- what I'm referring to is the Bashir documentary that aired on ABC. That's what blew the lid off this thing, when Jackson went public saying he slept with kids all the time, and he was petting that little boy there. OK, that set off fireworks.

The outtakes of that that didn't make air were very complimentary to Jackson. It talked about his philanthropy, his view on world peace. A lot of good character. When Melville ruled that did not introduce good character, I was stunned, because the state was going to fire back with bad character. KING: When he was arrested and you were on this program...

GRACE: Oh, yeah.

KING: ... you were in a quandary, because you said you were such a big fan of his. How did that affect you through this?

GRACE: I got to tell you something, my father and brother, same way when Simpson was arrested. They thought he was a hero.

Michael Jackson, Larry, can I tell you how many Saturday afternoons I spent in Macon, Georgia, about three inches away from the front of our TV screen? It was about a 19-inch, black and white. Every Saturday afternoon, I would tune into "Soul Train," and I would try to do what Michael Jackson did. I later won a dance contest, by the way, to Michael Jackson's rendition of "Rockin' Robin."

I grew up loving him, watching him change over the years, get better and better and better, and when you are attached to someone, you don't want to believe bad about them.

But after the '93 incident where he was that close to an indictment, where the '93 accuser could identify discoloring, freckles, body marks around his private parts, there's no reason for a little boy to know that. That almost came into evidence in this trial, but Melville did not allow it in.

KING: Is it, therefore, sad to you, the whole story?

GRACE: Yeah. It really is.

KING: The whole thing is sad, isn't it?

GRACE: Because the reality is, an American icon is being brought down, whether he's convicted or not. It will never be the same. You know, the other day, I was here in New York over the weekend, and I went for the first time to the Guggenheim museum. And they had an exhibit, Larry, called Doppelganger, and it was high-profile people that had brought themselves down. One was Jackson. And the whole room was empty, Larry. And I was watching him on this giant screen of him practicing dance steps. He's brilliant.

But this was his decision. And I'm concerned the jury will be bowed over by celebrity. Hey, if they gave Robert Blake a pass, what will they do for Michael Jackson?

KING: When do you expect a decision?

GRACE: I'm thinking by the end of the week. Juries are famous for coming in with Friday afternoon verdicts. You know they don't want to work over the weekend. They've had 67 days of this.

KING: Yeah. We'll take a break and come back and go to your phone calls. Nancy Grace's book is out. It is "Objection!" Available now everywhere books are sold and online, too, and all the ways you can order books these days. We'll be right back with your calls for Nancy after these words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Chris, you and I are about the same age. I don't have sleepovers for 8, 9, 10-year-old girls that share the bed with me, or boys. Have you?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, CELEBRITY JUSTICE: Michael Jackson was only wearing pajama bottoms, was sweaty and sexually aroused, and that there was a boy in the room there with him...

GRACE: Oh, good Lord! I haven't had dinner yet. Please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's just being Michael Jackson.

GRACE: Have you ever allowed your client to go in front of a jury wearing a pair of these? No! I already know the answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, absolutely not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Celebrating our 20th anniversary on CNN. This is Larry King of LARRY KING LIVE. Our guest is Nancy Grace. She's the host of "NANCY GRACE" on CNN HEADLINE NEWS, Court TV anchor, former prosecutor, and author of the new book "Objection!: How High-Priced Defense Attorneys, Celebrity Defendants and 24/7 Media Have Hijacked Our Criminal Justice System."

Before we go to your calls, Nancy has a sense of humor. David Letterman is not the only TV host with a top 10 list. Take a look at a recent top 10 from Nancy's show. The top 10 reasons Michael Jackson will not take the stand. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Let's take a look at the top 10 reasons that he will not take the stand. Last chance tomorrow, most likely, for Michael Jackson.

Number 10, you can't vomit/hurl on the stand. We know he's already left the courtroom once for that.

Nine, insists on being called Mr. Peter Pan.

Eight, he's already used the bad back excuse to be late to court once.

Seven, he's also already used the spider bite excuse last time he came to court.

Six, uh-oh, never know when Jackson could make a horny head on the stand, again.

Number five, no hair and makeup during direct. That was his booking photo.

Number four, dancing not allowed on direct exam.

Number three, pajama bottoms, fashion felony.

Number two, crotch grab equals contempt of court.

And number one, while the witness stand is elevated, it's not quite high enough for baby dangling.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Nancy Grace, taking on Mr. Letterman. Williamstown, Missouri, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. I'm still laughing about your dance contest win. I just want to say God bless for all you do. I lost my -- my sister and stepfather were murdered also. So thank you for all you do.

My question is, what happened to the men that were convicted of your fiance's murder?

GRACE: It was one man. I was a witness at the trial, although I was not a witness to the incident. He got life behind bars. That's a picture of Keith and I. We were on vacation in Florida with my family. That was our first formal dance together. Oh, I was a witch, he was a vampire at a Halloween party.

KING: Is the defendant -- is he still in jail?

GRACE: Yes.

KING: San Diego, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy.

GRACE: Yeah.

CALLER: Hello?

GRACE: Hello here.

KING: Yes, go ahead.

CALLER: I'm so sorry. You are just an amazing, inspiring person to me.

GRACE: Thank you.

CALLER: And I was wondering -- a two-part question -- how do you keep up your incredible energy to advocate for victims, and why do you think there aren't more compassionate people in the legal profession?

GRACE: Let me take the second one first. There really are. There really are compassionate people in the legal system. If you could meet all the victims' rights advocates, the other prosecutors, the rape crisis counselors, judges who have been lawyers, trial lawyers before, even defense attorneys, meeting, going to the jail day after day, interviewing people. That's their calling.

People do care. But, you know what? Attorneys have gotten a bad name because of other attorneys that are out for nothing but money. And I really don't think that's what our Constitution was all about. And I remember when my district attorney was stepping down, he was retiring, the thought of me going and arguing contract cases or slip- and-falls or insurance just for the money? I just didn't think that's why I went to law school. And next thing you know, I landed at Court TV, and then here at HEADLINE.

KING: Why do you think, Nancy, if a venomous person walking down the street, a horrible killer and wanted person had a heart attack, the doctor was standing there, you would expect the doctor to attend to him?

GRACE: Right.

KING: In fact, the doctor might lose his license if he didn't.

GRACE: Right.

KING: Why is the lawyer associated with the client, when he is doing in essence, the same thing, trying to guarantee rights guaranteed to the defendant, to protect those rights which are sacrosanct? Why do we blame the lawyer?

GRACE: Well, because of lawyers like the lawyer in the Danielle van Dam case. In that case, David Westerfield, her next-door neighbor, was accused of abducting this little 7-year-old girl, taking her out into the desert, probably raping her. Her handprint was found on his bedside table in the RV they were in, and her remains were found tossed to the side of the road like trash. You allowed me on your show many nights on the van Dam case.

The lawyer in that case, Steven Feldman, knew his client was guilty. Why? Because his client tried to bargain with the state -- give me life behind bars, not death, and I'll tell you where the little girl's body is. He knew where the body was, Larry. And, instead, he went to court, and he dragged the parents through the mud, calling them sexually promiscuous, saying they had introduced a sex predator into the home that killed the girl. He even put up a scientist, a forensic entomologist, a bug doctor, to say this girl was disposed of well after he -- he knew it wasn't true.

KING: That's one lawyer -- that's one lawyer, though. You're picking that one lawyer out.

GRACE: I can name you 50 cases if you have got time to hear them right now off the top of my head.

KING: Don't -- isn't a Mafia leader entitled to a defense attorney?

GRACE: Yes. I just don't want to be it.

KING: Is Saddam Hussein -- is Saddam Hussein entitled to a defense attorney?

GRACE: If he's tried in America, he is.

KING: Well, wouldn't you favor him having a defense attorney anywhere just so he gets a fair trial? Don't you want him to have a fair trial?

GRACE: I wasn't all that happy he was taken alive. So, about the trial...

KING: You don't want him to have a fair trial?

GRACE: I want him to have a fair trial.

KING: Therefore, someone has to defend him. Are you angry at...

GRACE: Right.

KING: ... someone who defends him? Are you angry at the person who defends him?

GRACE: I am angry when defense attorneys twist the rules of evidence and the law.

KING: OK, but would you be angry at just the person who -- John Smith, defense attorney, are you mad because he's defending someone you don't like?

GRACE: Larry, let me clarify, I don't have personal feelings, dislike, like, love, hatred toward criminal defendants. I simply want them off the streets so other innocent victims are not preyed upon.

KING: My only question is, you don't hook the defense attorney with the client, do you? Unless you don't like what they do?

GRACE: Sometimes I do. If I believe the defense attorney is trying to pull the wool over the jury's eyes. I don't mean don't give them a fair trial. Do the best you can in court. That's why we have an adversarial system. But don't trick people. Don't lie.

KING: Are you angry when prosecutors do it?

GRACE: Yes.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more, and more phone calls for Nancy Grace. The book is "Objection!" Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Between their legs from the get-go.

Viagra, you've got to have that after your wife dies.

That is such a line of BS.

That's ironic, since he only had the one bruise to the head.

These tall tales are almost laughable.

The prosecution said, no, objection, it's hearsay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why (INAUDIBLE)?

GRACE: The DNA backfired.

Connect the dots.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: The book is "Objection!" The author, Nancy Grace. Before we take our next call, Nancy has been talked about and portrayed on late night TV. Take a look at "Saturday Night Live."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, what would you suggest is appropriate punishment?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reath renalty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're honestly advocating the reath renalty? Wow, strong words. Strong, poorly pronounced words from a large dog.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sinbad should fry, period. Jenna Elfman should fry, period. Mike Tyson should fry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: You take that in the spirit in which it's intended?

GRACE: Yes. I'm a huge "SNL" fan. Yes, I was flattered to even be on.

KING: Chicago, hello.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Yes.

CALLER: Oh, Nancy Grace, I love your show. I watch it every night. I love the way that you're so passionate about what you do. It makes me want to be better at what I do. My question is, this morning I read about Lori Hacking's case, that he got six-to-life, and I just don't understand why his case, which I thought he killed his wife in cold blood, and -- Peterson got, you know, death penalty and this guy could walk in six years. I just don't understand that. Could you explain? KING: This is the guy in Utah, right?

GRACE: She's talking about Mark Hacking, Lori Hacking's husband. I totally disagree with the sentence in that case. It's my understanding, and Larry allowed me to interview Lori's mother, Thelma Sorace. She did not want to seek the death penalty and was opposed to the prosecution going for the death penalty, and I was stunned when I heard six-to-life. I think in that jurisdiction they call it that when they're really talking about life.

The six-year thing threw me off totally because, Larry, she was pregnant at the time she was murdered, and under, you know, new statutes, that's a double homicide.

KING: Well, maybe we should check. Maybe that statute reads six to life.

GRACE: Yes, it does. It does.

KING: So what are you mad at?

GRACE: That's why it was phrased that way. What I was upset about was six -- the mention of six years behind bars, and it is, theoretically possible for him to get out at six. I don't think it's going to happen, but it was very disturbing.

KING: Rialto, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, love your show.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: Nancy, I absolutely love your new show. I never miss it.

GRACE: Thank you.

CALLER: And you're my legal idol, and I love everything you stand for. My question is -- oh, and I can't wait to buy your book, and I was wondering if you're going to be in the southern California area so I could attend your book signing.

KING: Where are you doing book signings?

GRACE: Well, I'm going all over, and I don't know the names of the cities. I think it's at the Hyperion Web site. I know my hometown of Macon, Georgia -- Atlanta, New York, upstate New York and D.C., but I can't remember the cities in California.

KING: Now, if you're -- if it's in L.A., "The L.A. Times" every week lists, every Saturday, all the book signings for the coming week.

Chesapeake, Virginia, hello.

CALLER: Hi. This is a question I have. I love your show. I'm trying to find out, how do you separate your professionalism from your personal involvement? You seemed so passionate about the Laci Peterson case. How did you separate that?

GRACE: I really don't separate them. I've never made any bones about it. I'm a crime victim and I'm a crime victim's rights advocate. I'm lucky in that I've got a law degree and a knowledge of the rules of evidence, and I use them to try to put the bad guy, the right bad guy, behind bars. So, it's really hard to separate. It's funny you would say that -- ironic -- because my old boss, the district attorney -- and this was in about 1987 -- asked me the same thing, that long ago.

KING: But you want to make sure it's the right guy or girl?

GRACE: Oh, yes. There's no joy in putting, there's no triumph or jubilation, in putting the wrong guy behind bars. And you know, it's funny, Larry -- in the eighth grade, I remember in my science book reading for the first time the world deoxyribonucleic acid and I remember thinking, you know, for some reason, I'm think I'm going to need to know this and studying. Of course, it's DNA, and with the advent of DNA, I think that convictions are more sure.

KING: I believe I failed it in the eighth grade and I didn't know that word. We'll be right back with Nancy Grace. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Weren't you the one that told me that Jackson's maid, who made about seven bucks an hour, had to clean monkey poop off his bedroom wall and change the monkey's diapers?

Episcopo (ph), sounds to me like we're looking at an insanity defense.

When did Michael Jackson dress up like a cowboy? Have I missed something?

I'd like to talk to you, but I'm too busy looking at pictures right now. Have you seen this thing, "The Boy"? There are naked kids in here. They're naked.

A fan who says she saved herself for Michael Jackson. That's her screaming. That's her, not me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAN QUAYLE, FMR. VICE PRESIDENT: CNN, happy 25th anniversary.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Who will be the one, allegedly, if he really exists, that will describe for a jury her demeanor when she came out of Kobe Bryant's luxury suite? Was she smiling like a Cheshire cat and counting her money or was she disheveled, upset, crying, disarrayed? Did she make an outcry, as we call it in rape cases and tell him what happened or did she go home and come up with a plan to try to get money out of Kobe Bryant? His testimony is going to be very important.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Palmdale, California, for Nancy Grace. Hello.

CALLER: Larry King, your interviews are absolutely blue ribbon.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: Nancy, yours are too. In fact, today's, with Dominic Dunn, was so compelling, is there any chance that people that don't see on Court TV that you could re-show it on CNN sometime?

KING: Well, book Dominic Dunn on your show.

GRACE: Good idea. You know, Dominic was my first friend in New York, Larry.

KING: Great guest.

GRACE: He is a crime victim as well and he called me when I was on with Cochran and we became friends back, that would be, in 1997.

KING: Great guy, Dominic Dunn. By the way, we've heard, if you want to know -- and we're getting tons of calls about where you can meet Nancy Grace for book signings -- you go online to HyperionBooks.com -- HyperionBooks.com -- and it has her complete signing schedule. HyperionBooks.com.

Troy, New York, hello. Troy, are you there?

CALLER: Larry?

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Congratulations on your 20th anniversary.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: And Nancy, I just love your show. And I watch you every night. And my question is, is do you think that most defense attorneys know whether or not their clients are guilty, and have you ever considered becoming a judge?

GRACE: Actually, I did consider becoming a judge. And I got blocked by, guess who, the defense bar. And the reality is, I don't know, you know, God's greatest gift, I think, is unanswered prayers. I think that I'm much better as a soldier than somebody planning the battle. I think I would rather be in the thick of it, win or lose, getting dirty, getting bloody, fighting it out to the finish than sitting out above it all and watching it go down. So I think it's good.

KING: Do you think defense attorneys know if their clients...

GRACE: I think a lot of them do, just by common sense. But you know, another thing, I've talked to so many of them -- my best friend is a defense attorney in Atlanta. And I think some of them insulate themselves by simply not asking. And I don't want to live that way. I don't want to purposely not know the truth, even if it takes bad going down. I want to know, even if it hurts. I want to know.

KING: Boca Raton, hello.

CALLER: Good evening, Larry. Good evening, Nancy.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: Nancy, I'm truly sorry about your loss, but I'm really glad you got into your line of work. You seem to really care and want justice. You're an inspiration and you're my idol.

GRACE: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is, if someone wants to be a prosecutor, what would you say to encourage them to become one? And I hope you come to Florida, by the way.

GRACE: Well, if you want to become a prosecutor, go ahead and plan on getting a second job like I did at night, teaching school, because they don't pay very much. But you've got to be willing to try cases. You are paid to be a trial lawyer. And the worst kind of prosecutor, in my book, is the prosecutor that is afraid to go to trial, that will sit back and plead things out cheap, not investigate to see if you've got the right guy or the wrong guy. You've got to be willing to go in there and fight, win or lose.

KING: When you get out of law school, what do you do, apply to the local district attorney's office?

GRACE: First you pass the bar, then you apply. They wouldn't take me at first. I had to go and get some trial experience in anti- trust with the Federal Trade Commission before I could get into a violent crimes prosecuting position.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more of Nancy Grace. The book is "Objection!" If you want to find out her appearances, HyperionBooks.com. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: A grown man and 13-year-old girl, what kind of scuffle is that? That's like putting perfume on a pig.

Clearly, only a moron would stay on this side of the boat. Well, sorry, Beth, I'm going down.

And the whole thing with Elizabeth Taylor, freaky. Did you hear Michael Jackson on Jesse Jackson's radio show, talking about how Elizabeth Taylor had to spoon-feed him because he just didn't feel like eating?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: How is this that radically different from the O.J. Simpson civil wrongful death suits, where the victims or, as you would say the alleged victims, sued Simpson for everything he has or hopes to have, because of what they claim happened? How is this any different?

JOHNNIE COCHRAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, it's quite different. They aren't trying to attach any proceeds. There is no book that has been written by Simpson now.

GRACE: There was a video. Let me ask you one question.

COCHRAN: OK.

GRACE: Did you hear that victim describing the beads of fertilizer popping in the air as he lie there in the debris?

COCHRAN: Oh, absolutely.

GRACE: Johnny, it's over. It's over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: Well, you're looking great. And you will live to be 102. I've had -- I told you that before.

KING: What's your question?

CALLER: Anyway, Nancy, I would like to ask you a question as to why everyone in your mind and where you're at is always guilty?

GRACE: That's funny you would say that, because that's simply not true. I was opposed to the Martha Stewart prosecution. I believed that she was treated as a celebrity trophy defendant by a couple of federal prosecutors, and I said so on air. I recently stated that the Ohio sniper that shot at about 25 cars, killing a lady driving along below him, should not get the death penalty. So, watch Court TV and watch my HEADLINE NEWS show, and you'll discover that that simply is not the case.

KING: Las Vegas, hello. CALLER: Hello, Larry. Congratulations on 20 years.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: Nancy, I must tell you, I admire you greatly. I watch you every night. I wouldn't miss you. And I want to ask you, where did you get your law degree?

GRACE: Well, I got two. I got my JD, juris doctor, at Mercer Law School. I only applied to one law school. My dad was sick at the time, and I wanted to stay in town with he and my mom. Lucky, I got in.

Later, I went back to NYU and got my LOM, masters in law in criminal and constitutional law.

KING: Do you miss the courtroom?

GRACE: Very much. Sometimes when I'm watching other people try a case, I want to jump in the courtroom and just do it myself. But, you know what, Larry? I came from Macon, Georgia. And what a miracle it is to get to be here, to get to be on the Larry King show, to have my show on Court TV and HEADLINE NEWS. I truly believe that this is where I'm supposed to be right now. And when it's time for me to go back to the courtroom, I'll be ready.

KING: Are you enjoying HEADLINE NEWS?

GRACE: Oh, Larry, I really am. I really am. I love the law. If it hadn't been for the law, Larry, after Keith's murder, I don't know what I would have done. It was really -- it saved me.

KING: Do you think -- you said -- we only got about 20 seconds. You might go back to the courtroom someday?

GRACE: I've considered going back right now as a public servant. I don't want to do civil law, but as a public servant, I would consider that.

KING: You mean like a special prosecutor on a case?

GRACE: Yes.

KING: You would consider it?

GRACE: Yes, Larry, oh, I definitely would. You know, it's in your blood, Larry. Like you, starting way back when in radio, it's in your blood. Criminal prosecution is in my blood.

And Larry, before we go, I just want to thank you again for you and Wendy having me on and making everything possible.

KING: Good luck with the book, Nancy.

GRACE: Thank you.

KING: The book is "Objection!"

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