The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
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 try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
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!
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
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.
Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
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.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.