Supreme Court Throws Out Chemical Weapon Charge In PA “Love Triangle” Case


“The global need to prevent chemical warfare does not require the Federal Government to reach into the kitchen cupboard, or to treat a local assault with a chemical irritant as the deployment of a chemical weapon,” Chief Justice John Roberts said today, as the Supreme Court said federal prosecutors were wrong to invoke a federal chemical weapon law in filing charges against Carol Anne Bond. Bond is a Pennsylvania microbiologist who used chemicals to try hurting a friend who had a baby in an affair with her husband. Roberts said there was no indication that Congress intended the law to be used in “purely local crimes.”

Pennsylvania’s laws are sufficient to prosecute assaults like the one in this case, said Roberts. The court was unanimous in throwing the case out, but three Justices came to that conclusion using different reasoning, in what Justice Antonin Scalia called a case of “a husband's paramour (who) suffered a minor thumb burn at the hands of a betrayed wife.”

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