Bill Rankin

Senior legal affairs reporter

Bill Rankin joined the AJC 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 state and federal courts, specializing in civil litigation, criminal justice and the death penalty. Beginning in 2015, Bill began hosting the AJC’s “Breakdown” podcast. The podcast’s sixth season, “A Jury of His Peers,” cohosted with AJC editor Kevin Riley, won the American Bar Association’s 2018 Silver Gavel Award.

Latest from Bill Rankin

AJC, WSB ask for records to be made public in case against Braves, MLB
 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV on Thursday asked a Fulton County judge to stop allowing the Atlanta Braves and Major League Baseball to seal records in ongoing litigation with the family of a man who fell to his death over a guardrail at Turner Field. The lawsuit was filed by Laura Murrey, whose 60-year-old husband died Aug....

Posted: 20 hours ago

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV on Thursday asked a Fulton County judge to stop allowing the Atlanta Braves and Major League Baseball to seal records in ongoing litigation with the family of a man who fell to his death over a guardrail at Turner Field. The lawsuit was filed by Laura Murrey, whose 60-year-old husband died Aug....
Legal luminaries appear in special ‘Bard Show’ that honors its founder
 This season’s “Bard Show” put on by the Atlanta Bar Association will honor Cathy O’Neil, the highly respected attorney who founded the popular production. O’Neil, a former federal prosecutor, passed away in October 2017 at age 53 after a 13-month battle with pancreatic cancer. This year’s show &ndash...

Posted: 7 days ago

This season’s “Bard Show” put on by the Atlanta Bar Association will honor Cathy O’Neil, the highly respected attorney who founded the popular production. O’Neil, a former federal prosecutor, passed away in October 2017 at age 53 after a 13-month battle with pancreatic cancer. This year’s show &ndash...
Family says Braves, MLB knew guardrails were unsafe before fan’s fatal fall
 When New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez strode to the plate, Greg Murrey rose to do what thousands of other fans were doing at Turner Field: lustily boo the controversial superstar. But Murrey never had the chance. From his second-row seat in the upper deck, the 60-year-old grandfather lost his balance, toppling forward through the front-row...

Posted: 8 days ago

When New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez strode to the plate, Greg Murrey rose to do what thousands of other fans were doing at Turner Field: lustily boo the controversial superstar. But Murrey never had the chance. From his second-row seat in the upper deck, the 60-year-old grandfather lost his balance, toppling forward through the front-row...
Harris Hines, retired Ga. Supreme Court justice, remembered in court
 Friends and colleagues of Harris Hines, who rose to the top of Georgia’s judiciary, reacted with stunned sorrow Monday at the news of his sudden death. Hines, 75, died Sunday afternoon in a car accident on I-85 near Cleveland Avenue as he drove to his Marietta home from Newnan where he heard his 8-year-old granddaughter sing in a church...

Posted: 10 days ago

Friends and colleagues of Harris Hines, who rose to the top of Georgia’s judiciary, reacted with stunned sorrow Monday at the news of his sudden death. Hines, 75, died Sunday afternoon in a car accident on I-85 near Cleveland Avenue as he drove to his Marietta home from Newnan where he heard his 8-year-old granddaughter sing in a church...
Dunwoody High grad killed in Tallahassee shooting had ‘heart of gold’
 Maura Binkley was among the thousands who rallied at Florida’s Capitol after the Valentine’s Day school shooting in Parkland. On Friday, Binkley, a Dunwoody High School graduate with a generous heart and contagious smile, was one of two people killed by a gunman at a yoga class in Tallahassee. A 21-year-old senior at Florida...

Posted: 12 days ago

Maura Binkley was among the thousands who rallied at Florida’s Capitol after the Valentine’s Day school shooting in Parkland. On Friday, Binkley, a Dunwoody High School graduate with a generous heart and contagious smile, was one of two people killed by a gunman at a yoga class in Tallahassee. A 21-year-old senior at Florida...
Florida yoga studio shooting victims identified
 Maura Binkley, a 21-year-old graduate of Dunwoody High School, was identified Saturday as one of the two people shot and killed by a man at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida. >> Read more trending news  Binkley, who attended Florida State University, was one of two victims killed late Friday afternoon by a man identified by...

Posted: 12 days ago

Maura Binkley, a 21-year-old graduate of Dunwoody High School, was identified Saturday as one of the two people shot and killed by a man at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida. >> Read more trending news  Binkley, who attended Florida State University, was one of two victims killed late Friday afternoon by a man identified by...
JUST IN: Dunwoody High School grad identified as victim in Tallahassee shooting
 Maura Binkley, a 21-year-old graduate of Dunwoody High School, was identified Saturday as one of the two people shot and killed by a man at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Fla. Binkley, who attended Florida State University, was one of two victims killed late Friday afternoon by a man identified by Tallahassee police as 40-year-old Scott Beierle...

Posted: 13 days ago

Maura Binkley, a 21-year-old graduate of Dunwoody High School, was identified Saturday as one of the two people shot and killed by a man at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Fla. Binkley, who attended Florida State University, was one of two victims killed late Friday afternoon by a man identified by Tallahassee police as 40-year-old Scott Beierle...
Griffin judge indicted for alleged theft of court funds
 Superior Court Judge Mack Crawford of the Griffin Judicial Circuit was indicted Wednesday for the alleged theft of $15,675 in court funds. A Pike County grand jury, acting on a request by a prosecutor from the state Attorney General’s Office, indicted Crawford on one count of theft by taking and one count of violation of oath by...

Posted: 15 days ago

Superior Court Judge Mack Crawford of the Griffin Judicial Circuit was indicted Wednesday for the alleged theft of $15,675 in court funds. A Pike County grand jury, acting on a request by a prosecutor from the state Attorney General’s Office, indicted Crawford on one count of theft by taking and one count of violation of oath by...
Barrow judge grants new trial in murder case in highly unusual ruling
 When confronted by deputies, Paul Hamilton admitted, “I shot that boy deader than (expletive),” according to a report filed by the Barrow Sheriff’s Department. Hamilton, a former Barrow County magistrate judge, was soon charged with the October 2015 murder of Brandon Lay, whom Hamilton believed had recently broken into...

Posted: 16 days ago

When confronted by deputies, Paul Hamilton admitted, “I shot that boy deader than (expletive),” according to a report filed by the Barrow Sheriff’s Department. Hamilton, a former Barrow County magistrate judge, was soon charged with the October 2015 murder of Brandon Lay, whom Hamilton believed had recently broken into...
Supreme Court allows embattled Griffin judge to stay on bench
 The Georgia Supreme Court on Friday unanimously rejected a request that an embattled judge from the Griffin Judicial Circuit be suspended from office. On Tuesday, the Judicial Qualifications Commission recommended that Superior Court Judge Mack Crawford be relieved of his duties, with pay, while an ethics complaint against him is pending...

Posted: 20 days ago

The Georgia Supreme Court on Friday unanimously rejected a request that an embattled judge from the Griffin Judicial Circuit be suspended from office. On Tuesday, the Judicial Qualifications Commission recommended that Superior Court Judge Mack Crawford be relieved of his duties, with pay, while an ethics complaint against him is pending...
Federal court: Let people probe the depths of Georgia law for free
 The state of Georgia’s annotated version of state law cannot be protected under copyright law and should be made available for free to the public, the federal appeals court in Atlanta has ruled. The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a victory for public records activist Carl Malamud...

Posted: 22 days ago

The state of Georgia’s annotated version of state law cannot be protected under copyright law and should be made available for free to the public, the federal appeals court in Atlanta has ruled. The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a victory for public records activist Carl Malamud...