Editor's note: Famed defense attorney Mark Geragos sounds off on the case presented by prosecutors in the Casey Anthony murder trial.
Editor's note: Tom Foreman takes a look back at the key moments in the closely watched murder trial of Casey Anthony.
Tonight we bring you a special edition of AC36O°: Casey Anthony: The Verdict. A Florida jury finds her not guilty of murder, but of lying to police. We'll have all the angles on the decision. Plus, see how the defense celebrated their victory. If Casey is released from jail for time served, where will she live? Will her parents welcome her back home? Plus, who is Caylee's father? We'll have some insight on that lingering question.
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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
(CNN) - The lack of a cause of death, a lengthy trial and the possibility that Caylee Anthony's 2008 death was accidental were probably factors in the Tuesday acquittal of her mother, Casey, according to attorneys and analysts.
Defense attorney Bruce Poston said he, like many others, was initially surprised by the verdict.
But on reflection, he said, he realized jurors were given a circumstantial case in which there was no proven cause of death. And, Poston said, there was no evidence of premeditation by Casey Anthony.
"She didn't have to kill the child," he said. "Her parents would have raised this child."
The jury found Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder and the other most serious charges against her in the 2008 death of Caylee, 2. But it convicted her on four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to law enforcement officers.
Jurors would not immediately comment on their decision.FULL STORY
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Editor's note: Douglas Keene is a litigation consultant with a national practice, and served as the 2008-2009 President of the American Society of Trial Consultants (ASTC). He is a clinical and forensic psychologist and lectures at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law in the Trial Advocacy program.
(CNN) - The jury in the Casey Anthony trial deliberated for two days before acquitting Anthony of the death of her young daughter. Those who have been focused on the trial are now going to shift to what such a rapid verdict means. At bottom, it means that the jury did the job it was sworn to do, and it didn't require lengthy deliberation. To the 12 people who matter, the correct verdict was clear.
Juries are dedicated to nothing more than they are to getting it right. A quick verdict or a lengthy deliberation: Either one is a sign of 12 people determined to do the best they can.
I have interviewed thousands of jurors over the last 20 years - in focus groups, mock trials, jury selection - and many are still talking about what they believe to be the crazy verdict in the McDonald's hot coffee case, or how the jury let O.J. Simpson get off.
Jurors speak passionately about how they would exert great care if it were up to them, and they are highly critical of juries that they think failed to pay attention to facts. Jurors don't want to reach a verdict that will bring ridicule on them, and they want to sleep well knowing that they did what they knew was just.
Quick verdicts in lengthy cases are not entirely unusual, and usually - but not always - point to several factors:MORE
Orlando (CNN) - Defense lawyers for Casey Anthony lambasted the judgmental role adopted by some members of the news media and their guests in the months leading up to Tuesday's verdict.
"I hope that this is a lesson to those of you who (have) indulged in media assassination for three years," defense attorney J. Cheney Mason said after the verdict in the Casey Anthony case, which has attracted intense media scrutiny.
"Bias and prejudice and incompetent 'talking heads' saying what would be and how to be - I'm disgusted by some of the lawyers that have done this. I can tell you that my colleagues from coast to coast and border to border have condemned this whole process of lawyers getting on television and talking about cases they don't know a damn thing about," Mason said.
Former prosecutor Nancy Grace, whose show on CNN sister network HLN has featured the case extensively, defended the media coverage. "I find it interesting that his first reaction was to attack the media like we had something to do with it," she said. "We didn't have anything to do with it; this was all tot mom."
She added, "There is no way that this is a verdict that speaks the truth."
"Casey did not murder Caylee; it's that simple," co-defense attorney Jose Baez said. "I think we should all take this as an opportunity to learn and to realize that you cannot convict someone until they've had their day in court."
He said he hoped Anthony would be able "to grieve and grow and somehow get her life back together."
And he called the case "a perfect example" of why the death penalty does not work.FULL STORY
Editor's note: Florida State Attorney Lawson Lamar expresses disappointment over Casey Anthony verdict, praises prosecution team.
Reporter's Note: President Obama has more serious matters to attend to than one trial. So do the rest of us.
Dear Mr. President,
Having covered a fair number of criminal trials over the years, including some of the biggest in our nation’s history, I long ago stopped trying to predict what juries will do. So when the not guilty verdict came out in the Casey Anthony trial this afternoon, while I must confess I was a bit surprised, I was not astonished.
I realize that a lot of Americans were convinced that she had to be guilty. They read the headlines from each day’s testimony, they looked at her pattern of behavior after her daughter disappeared, and they looked over and over again at those pictures of the little girl before she was killed…and they wanted justice.
Often, however, when we talk about justice, we mean principally that the guilty should be punished. Justice is about more than that. Sometimes it is about the innocent going free. Sometimes it is about the courts admitting what can not be proven. And sometimes it is about recognizing that we have to trust our jury system even if we don’t always agree with what juries decide.
As a journalist, I have been asked many times about trials that produced unexpected acquittals. People will pull me aside at parties, and in a conspiratorial whisper ask, “Did he do it?”