Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
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.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.
On average, drug prisoners spend more time in federal prison than rapists, who often get out on early release because of the overcrowding in prison caused by the Drug War.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
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.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
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.