Editor's note: Frank Farley is a psychologist and L.H. Carnell Professor at Temple University, Philadelphia, and a former president of the American Psychological Association.
(CNN) - The trial is over. Casey Anthony is not guilty, and I believe we will learn that the jury saw through the most unreasonable and bizarre piece of the prosecution's case - the motive. Jurors followed the prosecution's instruction to "just use common sense," and found that the motive made none.
Without concrete evidence, the essence of this trial was psychology: How do emotion, love and mothering play a role; who is lying and how can we know that.
But the theories put forth were based on bad psychology. The prosecution said the motive was simple and two-pronged: Casey made a murderous decision because she wanted party time; and Caylee was getting to an age when she might be able to tell people about her mother's lies and activities. So Casey made a pre-emptive strike. These explanations were vigorously advocated by the prosecutors in their closing arguments and rebuttal as central to the jury's deliberations.
Arguments from prosecution and defense
No credible motivational psychology that I know of would support that a single mother who seemed to love her child and who had lots of back-up parenting, in the grandparents and perhaps even from a brother, would go through the careful planning and complex, unpredictable, scary process of killing and disposing of her child in order to get a bit more free time.MORE
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