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.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
Women have worked hard; starved in prison; given of their time and lives that we might sit in the House of Commons and take part in the legislating of this country.
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 I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
There's no greater threat to our independence, to our cherished freedoms and personal liberties than the continual, relentless injection of these insidious poisons into our system. We must decide whether we cherish independence from drugs, without which there is no freedom.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
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.
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.
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
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.
We have initiated programs for re-entry offenders, since some 500,000 to 600,000 offenders will come out of prison each year for the next three or four years. We want to have positive alternatives when they come back to the community.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.