Here's yet another example of California's Prop 65 "warning" label, which has become ubiquitous and therefore pointless for reasons I semi-explained a while back when somebody wanted it put on all cooked meat:
That appeared on Mia Matsumiya's Twitter feed with the message, "[Expletive]. I seriously regret not reading the label before wearing this leprechaun hat on my uterus! Happy St. Pat's."
First, if anyone wants to take a stab at calculating how long you'd have to wear one of these (on any body part) before it would measurably increase the risk of "cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm," please let me know the number of millennia you end up with. (If the thing turns out to be made of plutonium-laced asbestos, consider my opinion revised. Otherwise, not.) Second, anybody who wears a leprechaun hat 24/7/365, or frankly on any day other than March 17, should probably not be allowed to reproduce anyway. So that solves that problem.
Everyone's judgment is totally right, they just rushed to get there. That's all I'm saying.
Sirgiorgio deserves a long sentence, and not just because of his name. He was convicted not only of the stomping and of robbing the stompee, but also of forcing a woman into prostitution and beating her severely. So he's now been convicted of 20 felonies at the ripe old age of 26, and a psychologist testified that he is "100 percent likely to commit crimes again." Supporting that conclusion was Clardy's pleasant demeanor at trial, as this was yet another failure of the "scream obscenities at judge and jury" defense strategy.
Although to be honest, that is one step above actually threatening to kill the jurors and their families if you are convicted, which remains the worst closing-argument strategy ever, and probably the worst one possible.
Anyway, the issue now is whether Clardy can blame Nike for the shoes. His gripe appears to be that Nike did not warn him that using Air Jordans to stomp someone's face could result in a longer sentence than just using his foot. This is wrong for a couple of reasons, one of which is slightly more complicated than the other.
First, he has no claim against Nike because (among other reasons) a manufacturer isn't liable for an alleged failure to warn if the plaintiff's injury resulted from "abnormal handling" of the product. Benjamin v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 61 P.3d 257 (Or. Ct. App. 2002). I don't know what kind of data there is on the use of Air Jordans, but I'd be willing to bet that "stomping someone's face" is not on the short list of "normal" uses.
Second, why is Clardy the one claiming "injury" when he was the one doing the stomping? This seems related to the fact that his crime(s) were considered more serious because he used a "dangerous weapon." For example, under Oregon law using a "dangerous weapon" during a robbery is one of the factors that qualifies it as "first-degree" or "Class A" robbery. Clardy seems to be suggesting that had he known Air Jordans could qualify as "dangerous weapons," he might not have used them, and his sentence would now be something less than a century.
This depends at some level on the argument that one would not expect Air Jordans to be considered "dangerous weapons" in the first place, because there's no requirement to warn about something that should be obvious. (This and other items in the "Warning" category notwithstanding.) And to that extent he has a point. To start with, let us consider the bare foot.
A bare foot (or hand) is not a "weapon." It is a body part. Body parts cannot be "weapons" because there must be a distinction between the two or else it makes no sense to "enhance" a crime for using a weapon; every crime would involve a weapon. If that seems obvious, prosecutors have repeatedly argued to the contrary. It once took the Ninth Circuit 14 pages to explain to them why bare hands are not "weapons," and an Oregon court has had to explain the same thing about teeth. There are states in which courts have held body parts can be weapons, goofy as that is, but Oregon is not one of them.
What about shoes? Certainly you could put something on a hand or foot that would qualify, like brass knuckles or steel-tipped boots. But sneakers? There are in fact several cases in which sneakers have been held to be a "dangerous weapon." Those courts reason that it matters how the thing is used, not just what it is, and so regular items can qualify if used, for example, to stomp a face. But if that were the only factor, then again there would be no necessary distinction between a body part and a "weapon"—it would only matter how you used it. To qualify, I think the item must have some capacity for inflicting more serious injury than the body part would. Again, steel-tipped boots? Sure. Sneakers? I don't think so.
Ultimately, though, this issue probably would not have made a difference. It sounds like he got the long sentence not because he used a "dangerous weapon" but because he was sentenced as a "dangerous offender." That law increases the possible sentence for repeat offenders who suffer from a "severe personality disorder" showing a propensity for violence, which seems like a no-brainer in this case. It doesn't have anything to do with what kind of weapon he used, and so Nike's failure to warn him about that issue could not have injured him.
Full disclosure: my firm represents Nike, but (unfortunately) not in this case.
That's basically the headline of this Guardian article. Technically, I think there should be a hyphen there, because this isn't about an alarming epidemic that just happens to involve clowns, it's about an epidemic of clowns who are themselves alarming. But since such an epidemic would in fact also be alarming, I will let that one slide.
Probably inspired by the spooky clown who was recently spooking people in Northampton, England, people dressed as clowns or wearing clown masks have reportedly been alarming people in Norfolk (also England). Police said that no one had been injured or assaulted, but that in both cases to date "the callers reported being alarmed" and were chased a short distance by the clowns.
A police superintendent urged calm, saying that the clownish individuals are probably just trying to get attention, and that ignoring them might be the best way to go. "Firstly," he noted, "I'd like to stress that it isn't against the law to dress up as a clown." (Maybe not, but remember that at least in the U.S. and Canada, it is illegal in many places to wear a mask at least in some circumstances.) He went on to remind citizens that so far no one has actually suffered a clown assault, "and it appears that the people involved are waiting for a passerby to be startled by their appearance and run away, and then the [alleged] clown runs after them for a short distance.... The most effective way to behave if you are to see someone dressed up [as a clown] is to give no reaction—because that's what they are after."
A third case was reported on Friday in the same area. In that one, witnesses reported the clown was wearing a "blue and red 'onesie' clown suit" along with a red wig and white face mask, and—maybe most alarming of all—he drove off in a white van.
Never one to go in for sensationalism, the Daily Mirror ran the photo above (from the movie IT) along with its story on that case, but did note that "this is a file picture." So, nothing to be alarmed about.