Episode 3

There's no way you could identify who that is.
Reporter 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. Listen to Episode 3 of "Breakdown: railroad justice in a railroad town."
Who's Who
An exterior view of the Haralson County courthouse in Buchanan, Ga. This is where Justin Chapman was tried, in 2007, on charges that he set fire to his house and killed his neighbor, Alice Jackson, in the process. (HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM)
The Justin Chapman case: How a murder prosecution unfolds

UPDATED: The Justin Chapman case serves as an example of repeated breakdowns at nearly every level of the criminal justice system in Georgia. Here are the steps showing how the Chapman case unfolded. This article has now been updated with details about where the system’s breakdowns took place, and the effects they had on the case.


Justin Chapman’s case has seen many twists and turns since the 2006 arson fire that took his neighbor’s life. This timeline marks the major events in the case. More events will be added to the timeline with each episode as Chapman’s story unfolds.