Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
Any punishment that does not correct, that can merely rouse rebellion in whoever has to endure it, is a piece of gratuitous infamy which makes those who impose it more guilty in the eyes of humanity, good sense and reason, nay a hundred times more guilty than the victim on whom the punishment is inflicted.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
The best situation of all, and one frequently utilized, is for jails and prisons to allow volunteer ministers of all faiths to enter prisons and offer their services to the inmates who want them. That way, the religious needs of inmates are met but without government funds being spent.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future lives and crimes to society.
It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.