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The Christian Recovery Organization of South Florida Summit Kicks Off Today!

Christians working together CROSS Florida Summit Miami

The Christian Recovery Organization of South Florida Summit kicks off today! Bringing together a loving, large group of people devoted to God’s work of helping others has been a labor of devotion, faith, and love. I hope to see all of those committed to helping their neighbors in recovery turn out! The Summit is being held at the historic First Presbyterian Church from Friday, February 7, to Saturday, February 8.

There Is Still Time to Register!

In case you’re worried you might be too late to register, registration will be ongoing up until the Summit on Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The regular registration rate is $65 until February 7, and $75 at the door for walk-ins. I really hope you register early; only registered guests are guaranteed seats!

Get Inspired: Great Speakers

We have so many wonderful keynote speakers, including Jerry Sharpe, founder of God and the 12 Steps, and co-leader of the Recovery Bible Study, along with Stephen “Brother Stevie B.” Boyarsky. Stevie B. is also the Ministry leader of Celebrate Recovery at Lighthouse Community Church in Dania Beach, FL. These two leaders in the Christian Recovery movement of South Florida will be gratifying to listen to and speak with. Cleveland Bell, the Executive Director for Riverside House, a non-profit, faith-based organization, will also be speaking at the summit. Once an inmate himself, through God he has become an inspiration for us all.

Christian Workshops Explore Ways to Improve Our Lives

I’m also excited to announce several additions to our already-rich offerings for this weekend’s CROSSFlorida Summit. We are working to bring speakers and presentations that address peoples as a whole. We’re looking forward to Dr. Cristina Espinoza-Alguera’s healing workshop. Christina is the founder of Cave Solutions Institute, and brings with her a mission to help individuals discover their God-given natural talents, dreams, and life purposes.

We’re also looking forward to Paul Osterman’s workshop: “Beyond Relational and Sexual Brokenness.” Paul is the founder and Executive Director of Restoring Hope Ministries. We’re also looking forward to Dr. Chuck Dickson, Psy D., and his lecture on codependency and its effects on the family. Oftentimes we overlook how much addiction affects everyone around us.

There are many more wonderful speakers sharing with us at the summit, so please head over to CROSSFlorida’s website to learn more.

I’m looking forward to meeting all of you there!

Please click for directions to the CROSSFlorida Summit.


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More Than Likely Guilty Was Not Enough

criminal-defense-attorney-lawyer-miami-dui-dwi-family-lawI just received several emails from friends and acquaintances who want to know why Casey Anthony was found not guilty and “how could this happen”. Although I have taught criminal procedure and tried numerous murder cases, I am quite sure that my answer won’t satisfy most.

In the first place, I must give the caveat that I did not watch the proceedings from beginning to end nor did I get to review first hand all the exhibits and physical evidence. Obviously, the jury, made up of individuals who care about children was as emotionally ravaged by this case as anybody else. I therefore have to assume that the jury followed the court’s instructions regarding burden of proof and reasonable doubt and felt that although she may be guilty, she had not been proven guilty of first degree murder beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt.

Hundreds of years ago, our criminal justice system was founded upon the precept that in order to find an individual guilty they must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Probable guilt, likely guilt, or being thought to be “more than likely guilty” was not enough. By saddling the State with this very high burden, it was of course, conceivable that in some instances guilty people would go free. But our founding fathers made the conscious decision that individual liberty and justice was so important in a free society and we valued our freedoms so highly, that we would require this higher burden since we would rather see 100 guilty people go free than have 1 innocent person spend a day in jail for a crime he or she did not commit.

criminal-defense-attorney-lawyer-miami-dui-dwi-family-lawIf the crime was that of being a bad mother or despicable human being, or a selfish and self-centered person, the outcome may certainly have been different. However, as she was charged with first degree murder, the State had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that her mother intentionally killed her. Based upon what I did view on television and in the papers, it was clearly evident that this essential element of the crime could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. No matter how hard the State tried to point to Casey’s despicable behavior, after the death.

The truth is, we don’t know how this child died, and although it may have made us feel better seeing the mother punished for her actions, it would not necessarily have been the right verdict. Of course, Casey Anthony will have to live with this for the rest of her life and I for one don’t believe that she has “gotten away” with anything. I am praying for her and her father and mother. I understand why people are upset but I also believe the Caylee is with her Father in Heaven and Casey’s punishment lies ahead of her and is in God’s hands.

In short “nobody really gets away with anything.”

Russell A. Spatz

Counselor and Attorney at Law