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.
A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison walls.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
Money will determine whether the accused goes to prison or walks out of the courtroom a free man.
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.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out.
Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?