10 Questions for Nancy Grace

The cable host's new novel, Death on the D-List , is in bookstores. Nancy Grace will now take your questions

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    Nancy Grace

    How do you prepare mentally and emotionally to cover such heinous crimes? — Nina Bruce, High Ridge, Mo.
    I would say that I've been preparing since about 1979, when my fiancé was murdered shortly before our wedding. I was coming out of a statistics exam and received that phone call and dropped out of everything — out of school, out of my job, out of church. That phone call started preparing me for what was to come.

    Was your fiancé's murderer ever brought to justice? — Cindy Aherron, Providence, N.C.
    Yes. I was a witness in the trial. It's extremely blurry to me. The perpetrator got life behind bars, but a viewer recently e-mailed me to let me know that he had been released. I don't really have the words to describe how I felt when I heard that. I felt like a stone.

    Why did you choose to be on television? Don't you think you could have achieved more in the courtroom? — Kelly Darnell, West Chester, Pa.
    I was in the courtroom prosecuting violent felonies for well over a decade. At the time, the [Fulton County, Ga.] district attorney decided to retire, and I knew that I had no stomach for politics. I didn't want to run for anything. I think all politicians lie. The founder of Court TV had approached me about doing a show with Johnnie Cochran, and I took him up on it. That's how the whole thing happened.

    Of the cases you've reported on over the years, which would you most like to have prosecuted? — Michael Beattie, Alliston, Ont.
    Scott Peterson, who murdered his pregnant wife Laci. I will never forget the moment in court when Laci's mother described Laci being buried with the remains of her unborn baby boy. I would have liked to personally have prosecuted Scott Peterson.

    Are you ever concerned that your show exploits victims? — Ginger Schantz, Newberry, Fla.
    No. In fact, we typically try to have victims' families or friends on the show. We always try to hear the voice of the victim. So I don't see that as exploiting them at all. It's trying to help them.

    You've been talking a lot about celebrities on your show lately. Is this a temporary phase? — Patricia Masters, Bryan, Texas
    Actually, the number of times we discuss celebrities on the show is small by comparison. It's not about celebrity. It's about the statement that is made through celebrity about our justice system. If you are moneyed or educated, you will get a different sentence than someone who is not.

    Do you think it's possible for anyone to get a fair trial after being on Nancy Grace? — Brenda Campbell, Boston
    Nobody's tried on my show. I don't pretend to be a judge — I don't come in wearing a fake robe and carrying a fake gavel. I don't pretend to be something I'm not. I'm a lawyer. I'm a former prosecutor. I'm a crime victim. That's where I'm coming from.

    Why are you making a change to prime time with your new show, Swift Justice with Nancy Grace ? — Chantal Kedarian, Las Vegas
    It's not a change, because I'm going to continue with Nancy Grace in the evenings. But on Swift Justice , I get to be the judge, the prosecutor, the defense and the jury. It's unlike anything out there.

    What are your thoughts on the Natalee Holloway case? — Cynthia Montavon, Berwyn, Ill.
    The death of Joran van der Sloot's latest victim lies solely at the door of the Aruban justice system, for not seeking justice for Natalee's murder. Van der Sloot's done everything short of taking out a billboard that says "I killed Natalee."

    What will the outcome of the Casey Anthony case be? — Emilie Gochnauer, East Petersburg, Pa.
    I think she'll be convicted for the murder of her little girl. But the appeals process is so long that she'll languish behind bars, probably get a website, write a book and have a TV movie made in the meantime.