It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
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.
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.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking…is freedom.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
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.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors!
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
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.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
Federal prison, if you get any of it, you're going to have to do 85% of it. And the reason why I called it that is because I had a friend who got sent to the federal joint and his whole... it wasn't about him being in jail. He cried about the 85%.
A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.