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.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
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.
He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.
The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison walls.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
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.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.