It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
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.
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
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?
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
I don't like being famous - it is like a prison. And driving for Ferrari would make it far worse.
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.