There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
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 law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.
I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was. I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
If you strike at, imprison, or kill us, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.