Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
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.
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
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.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
Adversities such as being homeless and going to prison has made many people stronger.
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.
Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.