Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
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.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
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.
If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.