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

Appeals court seems unlikely to uphold ‘fetal demise’ abortion law
 A panel of judges on Thursday sharply questioned a state attorney who asked the federal appeals court in Atlanta to uphold Alabama’s so-called “fetal demise” law. The judges expressed concern that the 2016 statute requires abortion doctors to perform additional procedures that critics say put women at increased and unnecessary...

Posted: 14 hours ago

A panel of judges on Thursday sharply questioned a state attorney who asked the federal appeals court in Atlanta to uphold Alabama’s so-called “fetal demise” law. The judges expressed concern that the 2016 statute requires abortion doctors to perform additional procedures that critics say put women at increased and unnecessary...
Watch McIver's statement: Horses, telepathy and Chick-fil-A but no apology
 The jury that convicted Claud “Tex” McIver of his wife’s murder barely heard his voice: The politically connected attorney chose not to testify. Before his trial, McIver spoke out often, raising suspicions with almost every word. And on Wednesday, McIver demonstrated again why silence can be golden, delivering a rambling...

Posted: 20 hours ago

The jury that convicted Claud “Tex” McIver of his wife’s murder barely heard his voice: The politically connected attorney chose not to testify. Before his trial, McIver spoke out often, raising suspicions with almost every word. And on Wednesday, McIver demonstrated again why silence can be golden, delivering a rambling...
Hodges easily wins hotly contested Court of Appeals race
 Albany lawyer Ken Hodges breezed to victory Tuesday night in a hotly contested race for an open seat on the Georgia Court of Appeals. Hodges, a former Dougherty County district attorney, trounced Atlanta plaintiff’s lawyer Ken Shigley, winning more than twice as many votes as Shigley. Hodges will succeed Judge John Ellington, who...

Posted: a day ago

Albany lawyer Ken Hodges breezed to victory Tuesday night in a hotly contested race for an open seat on the Georgia Court of Appeals. Hodges, a former Dougherty County district attorney, trounced Atlanta plaintiff’s lawyer Ken Shigley, winning more than twice as many votes as Shigley. Hodges will succeed Judge John Ellington, who...
EXCLUSIVE: Inside the Tex McIver jury deliberations
 Claud “Tex” McIver returns to court Wednesday to get a sentence of life in prison for the murder of his wife Diane. The punishment, to be handed down by Chief Judge Robert McBurney, doesn’t sit well with some jurors who convicted McIver. One of them, a commercial real estate professional from Roswell who asked his name not...

Posted: 2 days ago

Claud “Tex” McIver returns to court Wednesday to get a sentence of life in prison for the murder of his wife Diane. The punishment, to be handed down by Chief Judge Robert McBurney, doesn’t sit well with some jurors who convicted McIver. One of them, a commercial real estate professional from Roswell who asked his name not...
Hodges, Shigley trade barbs in campaign to fill Court of Appeals seat
 An Atlanta plaintiff’s lawyer who once served as president of the State Bar of Georgia and a former district attorney from Albany who’s about to become State Bar president are competing for an open seat on the state’s second-highest court. The non-partisan election on May 22 will fill an upcoming vacancy on the Court of...

Posted: 17 days ago

An Atlanta plaintiff’s lawyer who once served as president of the State Bar of Georgia and a former district attorney from Albany who’s about to become State Bar president are competing for an open seat on the state’s second-highest court. The non-partisan election on May 22 will fill an upcoming vacancy on the Court of...
‘Breakdown’ S05 Ep. 10: Some surprises from the defense
 Tex McIver’s fate will almost certainly be in the hands of the jury sometime this week. The new episode of our Breakdown podcast, which went live early Monday, explores how McIver’s murder trial came to this pass — the weeks of prosecution testimony vs. the days of defense testimony. » Full season of the ...

6:05 AM Monday, Apr. 16, 2018

Tex McIver’s fate will almost certainly be in the hands of the jury sometime this week. The new episode of our Breakdown podcast, which went live early Monday, explores how McIver’s murder trial came to this pass — the weeks of prosecution testimony vs. the days of defense testimony. » Full season of the ...
Trump to nominate Justice Grant for federal appeals court
 President Donald Trump on Tuesday will nominate Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt Grant to fill an upcoming vacancy on the federal appeals court in Atlanta, according to an administration official familiar with the nomination. If approved by the Senate, Grant, 40, would succeed Judge Julie Carnes, who will become a senior judge in June...

11:53 AM Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2018

President Donald Trump on Tuesday will nominate Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt Grant to fill an upcoming vacancy on the federal appeals court in Atlanta, according to an administration official familiar with the nomination. If approved by the Senate, Grant, 40, would succeed Judge Julie Carnes, who will become a senior judge in June...
‘Breakdown’ S05, Ep. 9: The Pilloried Policeman
 The Tex McIver murder trial returns from spring break this week. Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney told the jury before the break that prosecutor Clint Rucker still has witnesses to call, and he has already called more than 60. The judge didn’t sound thrilled. “Mr. Rucker and his team have helped me understand there are not...

6:05 AM Monday, Apr. 09, 2018

The Tex McIver murder trial returns from spring break this week. Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney told the jury before the break that prosecutor Clint Rucker still has witnesses to call, and he has already called more than 60. The judge didn’t sound thrilled. “Mr. Rucker and his team have helped me understand there are not...
‘Breakdown’ S05, Ep. 8: Killer, or just not a good guy?
 The prosecution has been building its case against Tex McIver for three weeks now, putting up dozens of witnesses and questioning some of them for hours. The new episode of our “Breakdown” podcast, which drops early Monday, examines the state’s case. McIver, of course, built part of the case against him without assistance...

8:04 AM Monday, Apr. 02, 2018

The prosecution has been building its case against Tex McIver for three weeks now, putting up dozens of witnesses and questioning some of them for hours. The new episode of our “Breakdown” podcast, which drops early Monday, examines the state’s case. McIver, of course, built part of the case against him without assistance...
‘Breakdown’ S05 Ep. 7: Dani Jo testifies
 After more than two full days of testimony last week by Dani Jo Carter in the Tex McIver murder trial, the next episode of our “Breakdown” podcast will provide substantial audio of Carter’s testimony and in-depth analysis of what she had to say. Carter and Diane McIver were best friends. Carter had been driving the SUV in...

12:58 AM Monday, Mar. 26, 2018

After more than two full days of testimony last week by Dani Jo Carter in the Tex McIver murder trial, the next episode of our “Breakdown” podcast will provide substantial audio of Carter’s testimony and in-depth analysis of what she had to say. Carter and Diane McIver were best friends. Carter had been driving the SUV in...
Motion: State purposely excluded black jurors in 7 death penalty cases
 In an unpleasant echo of Georgia’s racist past, prosecutors in Columbus systematically excluded black people from the jury pools in seven death penalty trials of black defendants in the 1970s, according to a court motion filed Monday. Prosecutors made handwritten notes describing prospective African-American jurors as “slow...

1:11 PM Monday, Mar. 19, 2018

In an unpleasant echo of Georgia’s racist past, prosecutors in Columbus systematically excluded black people from the jury pools in seven death penalty trials of black defendants in the 1970s, according to a court motion filed Monday. Prosecutors made handwritten notes describing prospective African-American jurors as “slow...