Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
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.
Adversities such as being homeless and going to prison has made many people stronger.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.
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.
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.
Fear can be like a prison. It is, however, a self made prison. Many are imprisoned by fear. No one else can liberate them from this prison. Others may inspire them but they must liberate themselves.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
Concepts of justice must have hands and feet to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. That is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.
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.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.