In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
I am an expert of electricity. My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at the state prison.
The number of laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm.
Concepts of justice must have hands and feet to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. That is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.
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.
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.
I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
On average, drug prisoners spend more time in federal prison than rapists, who often get out on early release because of the overcrowding in prison caused by the Drug War.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.