Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
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.
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.
Adversities such as being homeless and going to prison has made many people stronger.
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.
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.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
I just remember that disturbing feeling of walking into that prison, the complete loss of privacy, the complete loss of stimulation, dignity.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
If you strike at, imprison, or kill us, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
To try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
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.