[T]he sergeant’s case notes also recount what the nurse told him in response to his questions: that the woman appeared to be in so much pain that it took “an extended period of time” to examine her, and that the “blunt force trauma” seen in the examination “was consistent with the sexual assault that was alleged by the victim.” About a week later, the sergeant met with the Durham County district attorney to go over the case.
That's some report. There are two problems with this. First, in the actual medical report, the nurse seemed almost blasse about the complaining witnesses' [non?]-injuries, reporting: "some swelling, no visible bruises." How do you go from "some swelling" to "blunt force trauma"? That's quite a change.
Second, the report was not released to the defense until July 17th - well after the defense had presented its trial strategy to the press, and had discussed the nurse's medical report. In other words, the report is a nice refutation of the defense's arguments.
Everyone is wondering why the report wasn't released much earlier. After all, didn't Mike Nifong say, months ago, that all relevant discovery information had been handed over to defense lawyers? This police report is certainly relevant. Why then was it released several months after his statement?
Was Nifong lying when he said that he had complied with all of his legal obligations? Or did the report somehow get "lost in the shuffle?" The defense has a right to know. Nifong and the report's author should be held to answer in an evidentiary hearing.
Here's what the defense would like to know about the report: When was it typed? What edits were made to the report? When, most importantly, were those edits made?
Assuming the report was prepared on a computer, all of this information can be readily ascertained by examining the word-processing program used to draft the report. Heck, as the police are fond of saying, since there's nothing to hide (right?), why not turn this information over?
I suspect that the report was drafted after-the-fact, and that it contains several lies. But how can anyone prove this? The detective will take the stand and say that everyone he wrote in his report was true. When asked about when the report was drafted, or what edits were made, he'll say whatever he needs to say to remain consistent with the prosecution's theory of the case. That's distrubing.
Under Franks v. Deleware, the defense is entitled to an evidentiary hearing where there is evidence that a police officer perjured himself in his search-warrant affidavit. Perhaps, in cases where substantial suspicion surrounds the veracity of a police report, the defense should be entitled to the file history of a police report. Call it a Franks hearing for the 21st Century.
Any ideas under what constitutional basis this could be argued for?