It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Prison, dungeons, blessed places where evil is impossible because they are the crossroads of all the evil in the world. One cannot commit evil in hell.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
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.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
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.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.