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Bond v. United States: 10th Amendment and Federal

By Cornel Kelemen
On October 25, 2010

It seems that before any major election, an issue rises from the grave to stir controversy. This is the case of Bond v. United States.

In 2007, Carol Anne Bond of Lansdale, Pa. found out that her husband impregnated her best friend Myrlinda Haynes. Just like out of a "Young and the Restless" soap opera, Bond sought out revenge. Being a microbiologist, Bond spread lethal chemicals on Haynes' car and front door.

Although unharmed, Haynes pressed charges against Bond. Prosecutors charged her with a federal chemical weapons violation, a law that Bond's lawyers said was intended to deal with rogue states and terrorists. Bond was sentenced to six years in federal prison after admitting to trying to harm her husband's mistress with toxic chemicals that she stole from her workplace.

Here is where the problem begins. Because Bond was charged on federal level, she got a much harder sentence. Instead of a maximum of two years on the state level, she got six on the federal. Her lawyer easily argued and pointed out the oh-so popular 10th Amendment thrown around nowadays by the tea party that seeks less governmental control on local and private matters.

According to the United States Constitution, the 10th Amendment reads as follows: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." That's why the tea party uses this to criticize the healthcare legislation passed by the Obama administration, calling it an unconstitutional control of the government.


The case of Bond v. United States is a more complicated issue because she is being charged for a federal crime. Perhaps if Haynes had died because of the intended chemical poisoning, this entire problem would have not existed. It is easy to point the finger at the federal government when petty issues arise such as this, but this country would not be as great without the control of the government.

Isn't that why the constitution was created, to form a federal government? Bond (who in my opinion should be in a mental institution instead of federal prison) has already spent three of the six years behind bars and the next hearing won't be until June 2011. Just let her sit and reminisce about the stupidity of her actions. 

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