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 »
11 HOUSE MEMBERS NOW BEHIND HIM
Two Committee Chairs Endorse Trump
9 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Two powerful House members—Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Jeff Miller (R-FL)—are throwing their support behind Donald Trump.

Source:
BUT WOULD HE THROW THE CHAIR?
Bobby Knight: Trump Would Drop the Bomb Just Like Truman
9 hours ago
THE LATEST
LAST PLACE
Trump Still Struggling for Endorsements
12 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
MORE INDEPENDENTS, FEWER SUPERDELEGATES
Sanders Could Force Changes to Nominating Process
14 hours ago
THE LATEST

There are not "ongoing, direct conversations between" the Bernie Sanders camp and the Hillary Clinton camp regarding "the platform or rules changes," but Sanders "is already making his opening arguments" about those issues on the stump. Sanders is putting "complaints about closed primaries" atop his stump speeches lately, and figures to start a "conversation about the role of superdelegates in the nominating process." He said, “Our goal, whether we win or we do not win, is to transform the Democratic Party."

Source:
‘LUCIFER IN THE FLESH’
Boehner Says He Wouldn’t Vote for Cruz
15 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Well, this is unsubtle. Former Speaker John Boehner called Ted Cruz "lucifer in the flesh," adding that he "never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life." Boehner has endorsed John Kasich, but he said he'd vote for Donald Trump over Cruz. He also praised Bernie Sanders, calling him the most honest politician in the race, and predicted that Joe Biden may yet have a role to play in the Democratic contest, especially if Hillary Clinton runs into legal trouble over her emails.

Source:
×