To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
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.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was. I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.
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.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
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.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year. This is quite a profitable sum, especially when one considers that the Mafia spends very little for office supplies.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.