Whatever you think of de Sade, he was a complex figure and we should not look for easy answers with him. He was, strangely perhaps, against the death penalty, and he was never put in prison for murders or anything like that.
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.
He had drawn many a thousand of these rations in prisons and camps, and though he'd never had an opportunity to weight them on scales, and although, being a man of timid nature, he knew no way of standing up for his rights, he, like every other prisoner, had discovered long ago that honest weight was never to be found in the bread-cutting. There was short weight in every ration. The only point was how short. So every day you took a look to soothe your soul - today, maybe, they haven't snitched any.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
Fast closed with double grills And triple gates–the cell To wicked souls is hell; But to a mind that's innocent 'Tis only iron, wood and stone.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
We shall not yield to violence. We shall not be deprived of union freedoms. We shall never agree with sending people to prison for their convictions.
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.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
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.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison walls.
If you strike at, imprison, or kill us, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!