Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
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.
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.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
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.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.