The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
The number of laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm.
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.
There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.
Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year. This is quite a profitable sum, especially when one considers that the Mafia spends very little for office supplies.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.