No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.
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.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
Fear can be like a prison. It is, however, a self made prison. Many are imprisoned by fear. No one else can liberate them from this prison. Others may inspire them but they must liberate themselves.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
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.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
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.
Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.