The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
Money will determine whether the accused goes to prison or walks out of the courtroom a free man.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
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.”
A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
Prosecution I have managed to avoid; but I have been arrested, charged in a police court, have refused to be bound over, and thereupon have been unconditionally released - to my great regret; for I have always wanted to know what going to prison was like.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.
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?