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.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
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.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.
We have our own system, ... and journalists in our system are not put in prison for embarrassing the government by revealing things the government might not wish to have revealed. The important thing is that our system, under which journalists can write without fear or favor, should continue.
We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
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.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.