I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
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.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
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.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
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.
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.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
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.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.