WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court will hear an appeal from a jilted woman who was convicted under an anti-terrorism law for spreading deadly chemicals around the home of her husband's mistress.
The justices said in an order Friday that they will revisit the case of Carol Anne Bond, a Pennsylvania woman who was given a six-year prison term for violating a federal law involving the use of chemical weapons.
In 2011, the court unanimously sided with Bond to allow her to challenge her conviction despite arguments from federal prosecutors and judges that she shouldn't even be allowed to appeal the verdict. Lower courts subsequently rejected the appeal.
Bond, from Lansdale, Pa., near Philadelphia, says she is in prison over a domestic dispute that resulted in a thumb burn for a onetime friend who became her husband's lover. Bond was convicted in federal court of trying to poison the woman by spreading toxic chemicals around her house and car and on her mailbox.
Her argument is that the case should have been dealt with by local authorities, as most crimes are. Instead, a federal grand jury indicted her on two counts of possessing and using a chemical weapon. The charges were based on a federal anti-terrorism law passed to fulfill the United States' international treaty obligations under the 1993 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction.
The case began when Bond, unable to bear any children of her own, learned that her best friend, Myrlinda Haynes, was pregnant. But Bond's initial excitement about the news turned to pain when she found out that her husband of more than 14 years, Clifford Bond, was the one who had impregnated Haynes.
Vowing revenge, Bond, a laboratory technician, stole the chemical 10-chloro-10H phenoxarsine from the company where she worked and purchased potassium dichromate on Amazon.com. Both can be deadly if ingested or exposed to the skin at sufficiently high levels.
Bond spread the chemicals on Haynes' door handle and in the tailpipe of Haynes' car. Haynes, noticing the chemicals and suffering a minor burn, called the local police, who didn't investigate to her satisfaction. She then found some of the chemicals on her mailbox and called the U.S. Postal Service, which videotaped Bond going back and forth between Haynes' car and the mailbox with the chemicals. Postal inspectors arrested her.
Bond pleaded guilty and was given six years in prison.