The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
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 law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
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.
Federal prison, if you get any of it, you're going to have to do 85% of it. And the reason why I called it that is because I had a friend who got sent to the federal joint and his whole... it wasn't about him being in jail. He cried about the 85%.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.