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Attorney says mock trials help keep Geyser from prison

WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Morgan Geyser's legal team says the findings of their mock trials was enough to convince the district attorney to agree Geyser was not guilty because of her mental illness.

"We were able to articluate that and give the jurors a version where they were able to see it through Morgan's eyes," said Anthony Cotton, Morgan Geyser's attorney.

Geyser's legal team says they found jurors had a hard time believing a mental illness they couldn't see, but after conducting more than a dozen mock trials, they say they found a way to explain morgan's schizophrenia and depression.

"We were able to get jurors repeatedly get to the point where they saw mental illness the same way they saw lukemia or any other physical ailment," said Cotton.

Geyser's legal team also released some of the findings from their mock trials. They say Geyser's family history was the key thing mock jurors centered on.

"People wanted to know about it. People didn't know about it from just looking at the story online or watching newscasts," said Rob Rosenberg, trial consultant. "We found those quesitons helped focus the jurors in and helped tell the story of Morgan."

The victim's family says they also had influence in this plea deal -- saying in part:

"Once the jury found Anissa Weier not guilty by reason of mental disease or disorder, we felt compelled that the plea deal was the right course of action and was best for our daughter. The emotional effects of a long painful trial are simply too great a burden on our daughter and family. Further, for the safety of our daughter, our family and the community, we simply could not risk the release of Morgan Geyser.

Though we do not believe that an institution is where these attempted murderers belong, the current legal system does not favor victims in this situation."

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