The Love Triangle and the Supreme Court
A love triangle seems far more like something you would hear about on Jerry Springer or a soap opera than in a case that goes all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. However, the world is a strange place, and in 2013, the highest court in the United States actually dealt with a case that dealt with a love triangle and a chemical attack. It’s a strange one to be sure.
The Mad Scientist
A microbiologist from Philadelphia named Carol Anne Bond found out that her husband was the father of her best friend’s child. Naturally, she felt betrayed, but rather than divorcing and moving on with her life, she decided to take revenge. She stole a chemical from her boss, which had arsenic in it, and then mixed it with other chemicals that she purchased over the web. She then took that mixture and used it against Myrlinda Haynes, the woman who used to be her best friend. She put the chemical mixture on the mailbox, door knobs, and car door.
Of course, this mad scientist hadn’t thought her plan out entirely, as the chemical mixture was easy to spot. It was bright orange. Haynes did receive an injury – her thumb was burned. At that time, she had no idea who was trying to harm her. She went to the police, but they were not very helpful, so her next stop was to the Post Office. The inspectors put up a surveillance camera and caught Bond as she was smearing more of the chemicals onto the box.
Normally, the Supreme Court wouldn’t get involved in a messy love triangle like this, but the method that Bond used in the attack got their attention. They decided to charge Bond under federal law based on the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty because of what she used for the attack. Still, this doesn’t seem like the type of case that would go before the Supreme Court, and Bond’s lawyer, Paul Clement, was upset that the federal prosecutors were involved at all.
He went on to say that “Her actions did not involve chemical warfare, stockpiling chemical weapons, or any other activity the Convention prohibits signatory states from undertaking. This domestic dispute arising out of marital infidelity, and culminating in a thumb burn, thus would seem to be a natural candidate for local law enforcement.”
Since she was prosecuted under federal law, she received a harsher sentence – six years in prison. Clement says that if she has been prosecuted by the state instead, the sentence might only have been a little more than two years. Many believe that the federal government went too far and went beyond their bounds with this case. The federal government believes that they made the right call with the prosecution though based on the treaty.
Over the years, there have been a number of somewhat odd cases that have gone through the Supreme Court, but this is likely the only one that could also get some air time on Jerry Springer.