Breakdown

Breakdown

True crime investigations from The Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Veteran legal affairs journalist Bill Rankin takes you inside the courtroom to break down the story and the criminal justice system. This award-winning series investigates Georgia’s most important cases with fact-based reporting. Learn more at ajc.com/breakdown. Listen for Season 9 coming June 20th: The Trump Grand Jury.

Episodes

May 13, 2015 35 min
Follow the twists and turns of a case in rural Georgia that some say landed an innocent man in prison. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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Meet Jan Hankins, the public defender who lost Justin Chapman’s case and embarked on a personal crusade to free him. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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Justin Chapman tells his side of the story. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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The case goes back to the Georgia Supreme Court – and this time there would be a much different outcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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February 20, 2016 5 min
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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The Harris trial was just days away from opening statements and testimony, when the proceedings ground to a sudden and unexpected halt.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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Justin Chapman awaits the all-important decision from the state's prosecutors: will they put him back on trial for murder and arson or end the long-running legal drama that put him in state prison for eight years? This concluding episode has all the answers.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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The Ross Harris trial heads to Brunswick after a four-month hiatus. What sort of jury will Judge Mary Staley Clark find on Georgia’s coast? Here’s why the trial’s new venue could be called a prosecutor’s dream. To learn more about this case, visit AJCBreakdown.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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September 22, 2016 28 min
Jury selection isn’t fast, but it is fascinating. Prospective jurors in the Harris case speak of magical powers, preconceived notions and their favorite TV shows. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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We’re just a few steps from the starting gate. In a matter of days, the 12 jurors will be seated, the lawyers will make their opening statements, and the murder trial of Justin Ross Harris will begin. Will he testify?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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October 10, 2016 38 min
The murder trial against Justin Ross Harris is finally underway. The prosecution opened with a blistering opening statement, while Harris’ defense attorney countered with an emotional and powerful opening of his own. After that, the first prosecution witnesses took the stand, and some of them gave testimony prosecutors wanted to hear, while some of them said things the defense wanted to hear. Then, three days into the trial, Hurric...
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