I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
The best situation of all, and one frequently utilized, is for jails and prisons to allow volunteer ministers of all faiths to enter prisons and offer their services to the inmates who want them. That way, the religious needs of inmates are met but without government funds being spent.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
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.
Whatever you think of de Sade, he was a complex figure and we should not look for easy answers with him. He was, strangely perhaps, against the death penalty, and he was never put in prison for murders or anything like that.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
Fast closed with double grills
And triple gates – the cell
To wicked souls is hell;
But to a mind that's innocent
'Tis only iron, wood and stone.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
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 seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.