CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Saturday, August 31, 2013

"Legal experts weigh in on Supreme Court case concerning Chemical Weapons Convention"

From a press release from Indiana University:

The case, Bond v. United States, involves the prosecution of Carol Ann Bond under criminal provisions in the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act. Bond was convicted of federal crimes under the act for using toxic chemicals against a woman who had an affair with Bond's husband. The act criminalizes, among other things, using a "chemical weapon," defined as any "toxic chemical" that can "cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm," except where the use involved activities intended for "peaceful purposes."

Bond challenged the federal government's interpretation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, asserting that the treaty did not apply to her case. But "Bond's suggestion that the Convention's reference to 'other peaceful purposes' permits all 'nonwarlike' uses is inconsistent with the Convention's plain terms," the brief states. She also argued that the CWC Implementation Act was unconstitutional because it exceeded Congress' authority to enact legislation to implement a valid treaty, encroached on state authority for local criminal matters and thus violated principles of federalism.

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