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

Georgia high court throws out Fulton County murder conviction
 The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday threw out a Fulton County murder conviction and criticized both prosecutors and police officers for pursuing a case against a suspect who had clearly and repeatedly invoked his right to remain silent. Officers from the Milton Police Department should have known to stop questioning murder suspect Michael...

Posted: a minute ago

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday threw out a Fulton County murder conviction and criticized both prosecutors and police officers for pursuing a case against a suspect who had clearly and repeatedly invoked his right to remain silent. Officers from the Milton Police Department should have known to stop questioning murder suspect Michael...
Fulton taking steps to improve ‘barbaric’ conditions at jail
 Court and jail officials are taking steps to improve what have been described as “barbaric” conditions for mentally ill women inmates held at a south Fulton County jail, one of the county’s top judges said. The Sheriff’s Office is providing extra correctional officers to work with the women prisoners, and the...

Posted: 5 days ago

Court and jail officials are taking steps to improve what have been described as “barbaric” conditions for mentally ill women inmates held at a south Fulton County jail, one of the county’s top judges said. The Sheriff’s Office is providing extra correctional officers to work with the women prisoners, and the...
In filling another Supreme Court vacancy, Gov. Deal achieves milestone
 Gov. Nathan Deal on Friday filled yet another vacancy on the Georgia Supreme Court, giving him the rare distinction of having appointed a majority of justices on the state’s highest court. Court of Appeals Judge Charlie Bethel, a former Republican state senator from Dalton and a Deal ally, will replace Harris Hines, who recently...

Posted: 9 days ago

Gov. Nathan Deal on Friday filled yet another vacancy on the Georgia Supreme Court, giving him the rare distinction of having appointed a majority of justices on the state’s highest court. Court of Appeals Judge Charlie Bethel, a former Republican state senator from Dalton and a Deal ally, will replace Harris Hines, who recently...
Deal gets three new names for Supreme Court vacancy
 The state’s Judicial Nominating Commission has submitted three new candidates to Gov. Nathan Deal to fill a vacancy on the state’s highest court. The nominees are House Majority Whip Christian Coomer, R-Cartersville, and Appeals Court judges Charlie Bethel and Sara Doyle. They bring to 10 the number of people Deal could choose...

Posted: 11 days ago

The state’s Judicial Nominating Commission has submitted three new candidates to Gov. Nathan Deal to fill a vacancy on the state’s highest court. The nominees are House Majority Whip Christian Coomer, R-Cartersville, and Appeals Court judges Charlie Bethel and Sara Doyle. They bring to 10 the number of people Deal could choose...
Appeals court asked to reconsider Pensacola cross removal
 The federal appeals court in Atlanta is being asked to overturn a 35-year-old precedent that ordered a 70-foot-tall cross be removed from Black Rock Mountain State Park in Rabun County because it violated the establishment clause. The First Amendment of the Constitution prohibits laws “respecting an establishment of religion,&rdquo...

Posted: 13 days ago

The federal appeals court in Atlanta is being asked to overturn a 35-year-old precedent that ordered a 70-foot-tall cross be removed from Black Rock Mountain State Park in Rabun County because it violated the establishment clause. The First Amendment of the Constitution prohibits laws “respecting an establishment of religion,&rdquo...
Court says bar office needs to try again in military spouse case
 The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday ordered the state Board of Bar Examiners to give specific reasons why it declined to allow the wife of a U.S. Army infantry captain stationed in Columbus to practice law in Georgia. The case has attracted the attention of national legal groups, including the American Bar Association, which asked the state...

Posted: 13 days ago

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday ordered the state Board of Bar Examiners to give specific reasons why it declined to allow the wife of a U.S. Army infantry captain stationed in Columbus to practice law in Georgia. The case has attracted the attention of national legal groups, including the American Bar Association, which asked the state...
Trump gets to fill new vacancy on federal bench in Atlanta
 U.S. District Judge Richard Story has informed the White House he will take senior status, giving President Donald Trump another vacancy to fill on the federal bench in Atlanta. Story, who has presided over numerous sensational cases during his time on the bench, will become a senior judge with a reduced caseload on Dec. 1. “I...

Posted: 19 days ago

U.S. District Judge Richard Story has informed the White House he will take senior status, giving President Donald Trump another vacancy to fill on the federal bench in Atlanta. Story, who has presided over numerous sensational cases during his time on the bench, will become a senior judge with a reduced caseload on Dec. 1. “I...
Melton sworn in as new state Supreme Court chief justice
 While serving as Georgia’s governor, Sonny Perdue said he was fortunate to have an executive counsel who had the fortitude to sometimes say, “Governor, you can’t do that.” That executive counsel was Harold Melton, and Perdue valued Melton’s advice so much he later appointed him to fill a vacancy on the Supreme...

Posted: 19 days ago

While serving as Georgia’s governor, Sonny Perdue said he was fortunate to have an executive counsel who had the fortitude to sometimes say, “Governor, you can’t do that.” That executive counsel was Harold Melton, and Perdue valued Melton’s advice so much he later appointed him to fill a vacancy on the Supreme...
EXCLUSIVE: Buford’s top leader — ‘My voice is on the tape’
 Buford’s longtime top elected official acknowledged on Friday that his voice is on an audio recording that captured a racist rant by a second man identified as the city’s then-schools superintendent.  But Phillip Beard, the chairman of the City Commission and the school board, said he does not remember hearing the racist...

Posted: 23 days ago

Buford’s longtime top elected official acknowledged on Friday that his voice is on an audio recording that captured a racist rant by a second man identified as the city’s then-schools superintendent.  But Phillip Beard, the chairman of the City Commission and the school board, said he does not remember hearing the racist...
Conditions for mentally ill women at Fulton jail called ‘barbaric’
 Mentally ill women are being detained in isolation for weeks at a time at a south Fulton County jail inside filthy cells that reek of feces, a civil rights attorney has told county officials in a letter that calls for change. Many of the women, held in chaotic and unsanitary conditions, are not receiving proper medical treatment and are deteriorating...

Posted: 24 days ago

Mentally ill women are being detained in isolation for weeks at a time at a south Fulton County jail inside filthy cells that reek of feces, a civil rights attorney has told county officials in a letter that calls for change. Many of the women, held in chaotic and unsanitary conditions, are not receiving proper medical treatment and are deteriorating...
Doctor who exchanged drugs for sex gets 8 years in prison
 As metro Atlanta’s top medical examiner for decades, Joe Burton helped solve thousands of homicides, bringing closure to grieving families and justice to those criminally responsible. On Wednesday, a contrite and gaunt Burton received his own justice in an 8-year prison sentence handed down by a judge who couldn’t fathom how far...

Posted: 25 days ago

As metro Atlanta’s top medical examiner for decades, Joe Burton helped solve thousands of homicides, bringing closure to grieving families and justice to those criminally responsible. On Wednesday, a contrite and gaunt Burton received his own justice in an 8-year prison sentence handed down by a judge who couldn’t fathom how far...