There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
I was put into jail as I was going to the shoemaker's to get a shoe which was mended. When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish my errand, and, having put on my mended shoe, joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour -- for the horse was soon tackled -- was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
They took away my money, my family, and my security. Why couldn't they destroy my ideas? We will question them in court tomorrow as we trigger The Revolution of all revolutions!
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
To try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison.
We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was. I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
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.
We have our own system, ... and journalists in our system are not put in prison for embarrassing the government by revealing things the government might not wish to have revealed. The important thing is that our system, under which journalists can write without fear or favor, should continue.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out.