‘Breakdown’ S01 Ep. 2: Public defender lost but never gave up

Continuing Breakdown, a new podcast by the AJC

As a public defender in 2007, Jan Hankins didn’t have time to prepare for the arson and murder trial of Justin Chapman. She lost the case as a result. But the fact is that NOBODY in Hankins’ circumstances could have won the Chapman case.

One thing Hankins didn’t do was give up on Chapman. She searched for years for an attorney who would take up his case. One obstacle: the new lawyer would have to represent Chapman free of charge.

In this first season of Breakdown, senior legal affairs writer Bill Rankin goes deep inside the Chapman case, exploring where the criminal justice system broke down.

You can listen to the Breakdown podcast below. It’s also available on iTunes and on Stitcher. Then visit www.ajcbreakdown.com, where you’ll find photos, articles, videos and documents relating to the Chapman case.