The number of laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
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.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
Before we can diminish our sufferings from the ill-controlled aggressive assaults of fellow citizens, we must renounce the philosophy of punishment, the obsolete, vengeful penal attitude. In its place we would seek a comprehensive, constructive social attitude - therapeutic in some instances, restraining in some instances, but preventive in its total social impact. In the last analysis this becomes a question of personal morals and values. No matter how glorified or how piously disguised, vengeance as a human motive must be personally repudiated by each and every one of us.
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.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.
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!
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
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.
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.
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.
Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.