He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.
When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out.
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.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
I just remember that disturbing feeling of walking into that prison, the complete loss of privacy, the complete loss of stimulation, dignity.
Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war - at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake.