Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
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.”
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.
Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future lives and crimes to society.
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.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
Whatever you think of de Sade, he was a complex figure and we should not look for easy answers with him. He was, strangely perhaps, against the death penalty, and he was never put in prison for murders or anything like that.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
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.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.