Bill Rankin

Reporter for Enterprise

Bill Rankin joined The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1989, three years after his father, Jim Rankin, retired from the paper after 26 years. For most of his time at the AJC, Bill has covered criminal justice, legal affairs and Georgia and federal courts.

Latest from Bill Rankin

Testimony about 1990 shooting to be allowed in McIver murder trial
 The judge overseeing Claude “Tex” McIver’s murder case has decided prosecutors can introduce evidence about a 1990 shooting incident when McIver allegedly opened fire on a carload of three young men and then lied to the police about it. That incident shows he “is not a passive user of firearms; they do not simply rest...

Posted: 7 days ago

The judge overseeing Claude “Tex” McIver’s murder case has decided prosecutors can introduce evidence about a 1990 shooting incident when McIver allegedly opened fire on a carload of three young men and then lied to the police about it. That incident shows he “is not a passive user of firearms; they do not simply rest...
Supreme Court sends case of racist juror back to Atlanta appeals court
 The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday granted a reprieve from execution to a Georgia death-row inmate, expressing concerns that a juror’s racist beliefs unfairly prejudiced the case. In a 6-3 decision, the high court sent Keith Tharpe’s case back to the federal appeals court in Atlanta with instructions to take a closer look to...

Posted: 10 days ago

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday granted a reprieve from execution to a Georgia death-row inmate, expressing concerns that a juror’s racist beliefs unfairly prejudiced the case. In a 6-3 decision, the high court sent Keith Tharpe’s case back to the federal appeals court in Atlanta with instructions to take a closer look to...
Supreme Court sends case of racist juror back to Atlanta appeals court
 The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday put a halt to Georgia’s plans to execute condemned killer Keith Tharpe, directing the federal appeals court in Atlanta to take a closer look at claims that one of Tharpe’s jurors voted for the death sentence because Tharpe was black. By a 6-3 vote, the high court questioned a decision by the...

Posted: 10 days ago

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday put a halt to Georgia’s plans to execute condemned killer Keith Tharpe, directing the federal appeals court in Atlanta to take a closer look at claims that one of Tharpe’s jurors voted for the death sentence because Tharpe was black. By a 6-3 vote, the high court questioned a decision by the...
Columbus ‘Stocking Strangler’ pursuing final death-row appeals
 Carlton Gary, the “Stocking Strangler” who was convicted in one of the most notorious serial rape and murder cases in Georgia history, has long claimed police arrested the wrong man. But his death-row appeals have now almost run their course, meaning an execution date could be set for him soon. Gary, now 67, was sentenced to death...

Posted: 13 days ago

Carlton Gary, the “Stocking Strangler” who was convicted in one of the most notorious serial rape and murder cases in Georgia history, has long claimed police arrested the wrong man. But his death-row appeals have now almost run their course, meaning an execution date could be set for him soon. Gary, now 67, was sentenced to death...
When they have questions, Fulton judge lets jurors ask them
 It can happen at the end of a searing cross-examination of the state’s star witness and after seemingly perfunctory testimony from a crime scene tech. In fact, it can occur when any witness testifies at trial in the courtroom of Judge Robert McBurney. After lawyers from both sides finish with their examinations, McBurney then looks...

Posted: 22 days ago

It can happen at the end of a searing cross-examination of the state’s star witness and after seemingly perfunctory testimony from a crime scene tech. In fact, it can occur when any witness testifies at trial in the courtroom of Judge Robert McBurney. After lawyers from both sides finish with their examinations, McBurney then looks...
Trump nominee for Atlanta court is unscathed in confirmation hearing
 Judge Elizabeth Branch, nominated to sit on the federal appeals court in Atlanta, breezed through her confirmation hearing on Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee Branch, a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals and a native of Fulton County, encountered no stated opposition during the proceeding. With family and friends seated behind...

7:35 PM Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017

Judge Elizabeth Branch, nominated to sit on the federal appeals court in Atlanta, breezed through her confirmation hearing on Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee Branch, a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals and a native of Fulton County, encountered no stated opposition during the proceeding. With family and friends seated behind...
Tex McIver released on bond after 8 months in Fulton jail
 Claud “Tex” McIver, accused of murder in the shooting death of his wife, Diane, posted bond on Monday and was released from the Fulton County Jail shortly before 9 p.m.  McIver was granted $750,000 bond in October, but it took him two months to come up with the required $75,000, or 10 percent of the full bond...

10:58 PM Monday, Dec. 11, 2017

Claud “Tex” McIver, accused of murder in the shooting death of his wife, Diane, posted bond on Monday and was released from the Fulton County Jail shortly before 9 p.m.  McIver was granted $750,000 bond in October, but it took him two months to come up with the required $75,000, or 10 percent of the full bond...
Murder defendant Tex McIver posts bond, walks out of Fulton jail
 Atlanta attorney Claud “Tex” McIver Monday night walked out of the Fulton County Jail, with a clear plastic bag full of books and papers slung over his shoulder and not a word to the waiting press.  McIver, 74, charged with murder in the shooting death of his wife, Diane, posted bond earlier in the day Monday. He was released...

10:24 PM Monday, Dec. 11, 2017

Atlanta attorney Claud “Tex” McIver Monday night walked out of the Fulton County Jail, with a clear plastic bag full of books and papers slung over his shoulder and not a word to the waiting press.  McIver, 74, charged with murder in the shooting death of his wife, Diane, posted bond earlier in the day Monday. He was released...
High court declines to hear Georgia woman’s gay rights appeal
 The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a Georgia woman’s claim that the Civil Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians. The high court’s decision not to hear Jameka Evans’ appeal was somewhat surprising because there is a split among the nation’s courts on the issue. In March...

6:27 PM Monday, Dec. 11, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a Georgia woman’s claim that the Civil Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians. The high court’s decision not to hear Jameka Evans’ appeal was somewhat surprising because there is a split among the nation’s courts on the issue. In March...
Supreme Court declines to hear Georgia woman’s gay rights appeal
 The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a Georgia woman’s challenge of a federal law that does not prohibit workplace discrimination against employees because they are lesbian or gay. Jameka Evans, who claimed she was fired from her job at Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah because she’s a lesbian, was appealing a...

3:10 PM Monday, Dec. 11, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a Georgia woman’s challenge of a federal law that does not prohibit workplace discrimination against employees because they are lesbian or gay. Jameka Evans, who claimed she was fired from her job at Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah because she’s a lesbian, was appealing a...
Second powerhouse lawyer joins defense in Tex McIver murder case
 Claud “Tex” McIver, who lost most of his legal team earlier this month, now has two of Atlanta’s premier criminal defense attorneys in his corner. Trial lawyer Don Samuel said he has agreed to join Bruce Harvey on McIver’s defense team. In an interview, Samuel ridiculed the prosecution’s murder case against his...

6:12 PM Monday, Nov. 27, 2017

Claud “Tex” McIver, who lost most of his legal team earlier this month, now has two of Atlanta’s premier criminal defense attorneys in his corner. Trial lawyer Don Samuel said he has agreed to join Bruce Harvey on McIver’s defense team. In an interview, Samuel ridiculed the prosecution’s murder case against his...