A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
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.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
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.
Prosecution I have managed to avoid; but I have been arrested, charged in a police court, have refused to be bound over, and thereupon have been unconditionally released - to my great regret; for I have always wanted to know what going to prison was like.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
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.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
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.