Breakdown

Breakdown

United States

Follow the twists and turns of a case that some say landed an innocent man in prison. In Season 1 of Breakdown: A true crime story inspired by Serial. Set in the west Georgia town of Bremen, an elderly woman named Alice Jackson dies in her duplex in a predawn fire. Justin Chapman lives in the other side of the duplex and is charged with setting the fire. A jury convicts him of murder, and a judge sentences him to life in prison. His lawyers say he’s innocent. Suspect witnesses. An over-burdened public defender. Prosecutorial misconduct. A botched appeal. This is a broken system. Find out how we got here in Season 1 of Breakdown, a new podcast series from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Episodes

S02, Episode6: A sudden change of venue  

The Harris trial was just days away from opening statements and testimony, when the proceedings ground to a sudden and unexpected halt.

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S02, Episode 5.5: A change of venue  

The defense in the hot-car murder trial of Justin Ross Harris surprises everyone by filing for a change of venue almost at the of jury selection. But the judge has her own surprise: she grants it.

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S02, Episode 5: A jury of his peers, with preconceived notions  

Jury selection, which may be close to conclusion, has taken an interesting turn. Nearly a third of the jurors qualified for the final panel – the one from which the 12 jurors and a number of alternates will be chosen – say they believe Justin Ross Harris is guilty.

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S02 Episode 4 - Deciding the case before it begins?  

The most important moments of the Justin Ross Harris trial may be unfolding right now - even before testimony begins or the lawyers ever state their cases. Welcome to jury selection, where cases are often won or lost.

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S02 Episode 3 - Leanna Harris: Once implicated, never charged  

Cobb police insinuated a number of times that Leanna (now Leanna Taylor, since her divorce came through in March) might have helped her husband plan the murder of their son. But those claims faded and then all but disappeared. Taylor was never charged with any crime and is expected to be a witness for the defense in Ross Harris’s murder trial.

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S02 Episode 2: An air-tight case against Justin Ross Harris?  

The state’s murder case against Harris is formidable. The lead police investigator has already testified at length in pretrial hearings: some key testimony seems utterly damning, but some seems totally wrong.

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S02 Episode 1 - Death in a Hot Car: Mistake or Murder?  

The evidence against Justin Ross Harris, accused of murder in the hot-car death of his son, and how it just seems to keep piling up.

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S01 Episode 0:  Before You Listen  

A state prosecutor is now deciding whether to put Justin Chapman back on trial for murder. His first trial ended in a guilty verdict after the jury deliberated about 40 minutes.

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S01 Episode 7: A New Trial or a New Life?  

The case goes back to the Georgia Supreme Court – and this time there would be a much different outcome.

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S01 Episode 6: Could Justin Chapman Be Guilty?  

Justin Chapman tells his side of the story.

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S01 Episode 5: Young Lawyers and Old Hands  

Justin Chapman’s new defense team sifts through the evidence and uncovers critical breakdowns in the prosecution of Chapman, including several pieces of evidence that Chapman's public defender Jan Hankins says she never received, and the testimony of witnesses that Hankins never had time to visit.

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S01 Episode 4: The New Team Goes to Work  

The Justin Chapman murder case attracts a new defense team full of heavy hitters and colorful characters. In this episode, we take a detour from the case in order to introduce you to some of the players who came to Chapman's aid, and learn why they took on the case for free.

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S01 Episode 3: Let’s Test the Evidence  

Bill Rankin goes to Bremen in the dark of night, and with the help of an Army veteran, tests what you can see from "Stroupe's stoop." Could Gary Allen Stroupe have seen Justin Chapman from his front porch? Plus, Chapman experiences the appeal from hell.

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S01 Episode 2: She Lost, but She Never Gave Up  

Meet Jan Hankins, the public defender who lost Justin Chapman’s case and embarked on a personal crusade to free him.

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S01 Episode 1: Railroad Justice in a Railroad Town  

Follow the twists and turns of a case in rural Georgia that some say landed an innocent man in prison.

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