Nancy Grace has been involved in criminal justice since the 1980s, when she made the ultimate career change: From aspiring English teacher to special prosecutor at the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, Georgia. Her passion for victim advocacy is fueled by her own experience as a witness in the trial of her fiancé’s murderer in 1979.
“For all the years since Keith’s murder, I was like a machine,” Grace shared on Oxygen’s true crime podcast, Martinis & Murder. Today, Grace is widely known for her intensive coverage of felony cases as a legal analyst on television, she had been an active prosecuting attorney for more than 10 years. What’s most notable about Grace, however, is that as a prosecutor, she was undefeated.
Her tactic? Bringing the victim back to life.
Grace said on CNN’s Larry King Live that the prosecutor in the murder trial for Keith Griffin, Grace’s boyfriend in college who was shot to death at age 25, had her identify the victim’s wallet and a photograph of herself in front of the jury.
“I realized that I was used, in front of the jury, to humanize the victim,” Grace said. “To show that he was not just a name on an indictment.”
Grace told King that the difficulty in prosecuting is that the victim is absent, while the defendant is present and able to receive “empathy” for being charged and put on trial. According to the interview, Grace has worked more than 100 jury trials, and never has heard the words “not guilty” uttered in a case she was prosecuting. She spent the first three years of her career working on nonviolent cases before getting her first violent felony: the murder of a young girl called “Mary.” For the rest of her career as a prosecutor, Grace handled cases involving murder, arson, rape and child molestation.
Grace’s unmatched record as a lawyer, however, is not something that she takes lightly.
“People ask me all the time, what’s your favorite case? Like I’m going to pick a favorite color. It’s not like that,” Grace told John Thrasher and Daryn Carp on Martinis & Murder. “Not one victim is less or more important than another.”
After more than a decade of working as an attorney, Nancy Grace continues her work for victim advocacy as a TV host for shows focused on crime content, including “Closing Arguments,” “Cochran and Grace,” “Nancy Grace,” and now her upcoming show, “Injustice with Nancy Grace,” which premieres Saturday, July 13, at 6/5 p.m. ET/PT on Oxygen.
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