To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
To try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison.
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
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?
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.