For anyone who has read the book White Oleander (or seen the movie), this Third Circuit Court of Appeals case certainly sounds like a page from that novel. Or alternatively, like a scene from a bad Bond movie.
Bond (that’s Carol Bond) was convicted under the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act of 1998.
Bond worked at Rohm and Haas as a scientist and used her expertise to commit the crime. Bond learned that her best friend was sleeping with her husband and pregnant with her husband's baby. So, she did what any woman would do -- she applied poisonous chemicals to her best friend's doorknob, car door handles and mailbox. Unfortunately for Bond, her nemesis was resilient and only suffered a burn to her thumb.
In 2008, Bond was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to the attempted poisoning.
Bond had previously appealed her conviction before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, on grounds that the application of the law violated the Tenth Amendment. She argued that the statute was beyond the federal government's enumerated powers.
The Third Circuit rejected her appeal, citing that she did not have standing to bring the Tenth Amendment lawsuit. She then took her case to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court reversed the Third Circuit's decision and remanded it.
The Third Circuit, in its second appeal of the case, looked at whether the statute was valid and could be deemed necessary and proper.
The statute criminalizes the use of any chemical weapon. But Bond argued that the statute was designed to target terrorist activity and was not meant for petty cases such as hers.
While the Third Circuit did note that the application of the law in this case was questionable, the court nevertheless rejected Bond's appeal and said that the government was justified in its application of the law.
- US v. Bond (Third Circuit Court of Appeal)
- Browse 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Cases (FindLaw)
- Jealous Wife Used Toxic Chemicals to Avenge Mistress; Is She a Terrorist? (CBS)