To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.
If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.