If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
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.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
I have been studying how I may compare This prison where I live unto the world; And, for because the world is populous, And here is not a creature but myself, I cannot do it. Yet I'll hammer it out.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
There's no greater threat to our independence, to our cherished freedoms and personal liberties than the continual, relentless injection of these insidious poisons into our system. We must decide whether we cherish independence from drugs, without which there is no freedom.
Fear can be like a prison. It is, however, a self made prison. Many are imprisoned by fear. No one else can liberate them from this prison. Others may inspire them but they must liberate themselves.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
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.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.