Top Court Hears Case of Jilted Wife Charged Under Chemical-Arms Law

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Nov. 5, 2013, 11:02 a.m.

The U.S. Su­preme Court on Tues­day ap­peared sym­path­et­ic to a mi­cro­bi­o­lo­gist’s ar­gu­ment that she was un­fairly pro­sec­uted un­der a fed­er­al law that im­ple­ments the Chem­ic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion after she tried to pois­on a ro­mantic rival, ac­cord­ing to re­ports.

The na­tion’s top justices weighed the ap­peal of 42-year old Car­ol Ann Bond, who in 2008 pled guilty to try­ing to pois­on her hus­band’s preg­nant lov­er, Myrlina Haynes, with a chem­ic­al com­pound. Bond was charged in fed­er­al court with vi­ol­at­ing the 1998 Chem­ic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion Im­ple­ment­a­tion Act, the law the im­ple­men­ted the 1997 Chem­ic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion in the United States. She was sen­tenced to six years in pris­on and fought that con­vic­tion, ar­guing fed­er­al pro­sec­utors in­fringed upon state au­thor­ity by fil­ing charges against her un­der a law cre­ated to de­ter the use of chem­ic­al weapons by rogue na­tions and ter­ror­ists.

Most of the justices ap­peared “down­right angry” with the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment’s use of an in­ter­na­tion­al treaty to pro­sec­ute a wo­man in a do­mest­ic spat, USA Today re­por­ted. They ques­tioned if the Chem­ic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion and the law Con­gress passed im­ple­ment­ing it were in­ten­ded to reach to such do­mest­ic crimes or re­main only ap­plic­able to war­time mat­ters. At its core, the case is about wheth­er Con­gress can use its power to im­ple­ment treat­ies on loc­al mat­ters not nor­mally ap­plic­able to fed­er­al law, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg.

It “seems un­ima­gin­able that you would bring this pro­sec­u­tion,” Justice An­thony Kennedy re­portedly told U.S. So­li­cit­or Gen­er­al Don­ald Ver­rilli, ac­cord­ing to the As­so­ci­ated Press.

Bond’s at­tor­ney, former U.S. so­li­cit­or gen­er­al Paul Clem­ent, re­ferred to his cli­ent’s crime con­sisted of “garden-vari­ety as­saults with chem­ic­als.”

Ver­rilli, though, ar­gued on be­half of Pres­id­ent Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion that if its treaty power were altered, U.S. ini­ti­at­ives re­lated to chem­ic­al weapons and nuc­le­ar non­pro­lif­er­a­tion could be hampered.

“There needs to be a com­pre­hens­ive ban,” Ver­rilli re­portedly ar­gued be­fore the high court. “You can’t be draw­ing these types of lines.”

Justice Elena Kagan, mean­while, main­tained that the Chem­ic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion and con­gres­sion­al im­ple­ment­a­tion of the treaty were sound and there­fore para­mount, USA Today re­por­ted. If they were not, judges would “take the place of treaty-makers,” she re­portedly said.

What We're Following See More »
SUFFOLK POLL
New Survey Shows Clinton Up 9 in Pennsylvania
27 minutes ago
THE LATEST

If a new poll is to be believed, Hillary Clinton has a big lead in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania. A new Suffolk University survey shows her ahead of Donald Trump, 50%-41%. In a four-way race, she maintains her nine-point lead, 46%-37%. "Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, going back to Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992. Yet it is a rust belt state that could be in play, as indicated by recent general-election polling showing a close race."

Source:
$500 MILLION PROJECT
Obama Library Heading to Jackson Park in Chicago
45 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"President Barack Obama has chosen Jackson Park, a lakefront park that once hosted the world’s fair on the city’s South Side, for his $500 million presidential library, according to a person familiar with the matter."

Source:
THREE NIGHTS RUNNING
Democrats Beat Republicans in Convention Ratings So Far
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Wednesday was the third night in a row that the Democratic convention enjoyed a ratings win over the Republican convention last week. Which might have prompted a fundraising email from Donald Trump exhorting supporters not to watch. "Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don't watch Hillary's DNC speech tonight," the email read. "Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks."

Source:
THE QUESTION
How Many VIPs Were the Secret Service Protecting in Philly Last Night?
2 hours ago
THE ANSWER

Seven, according to an official Secret Service tweet.

Source:
‘MOGUL,’ ‘DAREDEVIL’
Candidates’ Code Names Revealed
3 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

The Clintons will retain their Secret Service "code names from the last time they lived in the White House. Hillary Clinton is EVERGREEN and Bill ClintonEAGLE. Donald Trump is MOGUL, according to reports, and Melania Trump MUSE. The vice presidents get code names, too: Mike Pence is HOOSIER—a little on the nose—and his wife HUMMINGBIRD. Tim Kaine is DAREDEVIL, somewhat ambitiously. His wife's? To be determined."

Source:
×