Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
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.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
I was put into jail as I was going to the shoemaker's to get a shoe which was mended. When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish my errand, and, having put on my mended shoe, joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour -- for the horse was soon tackled -- was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
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.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.