There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
Women now have choices. They can be married, not married, have a job, not have a job, be married with children, unmarried with children. Men have the same choice we've always had: work, or prison.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
No man survives when freedom fails. The best men rot in filthy jails, and those who cry 'appease, appease' are hanged by those they tried to please.
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.