The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Concepts of justice must have hands and feet to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. That is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.
Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
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.
Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future lives and crimes to society.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
Federal prison, if you get any of it, you're going to have to do 85% of it. And the reason why I called it that is because I had a friend who got sent to the federal joint and his whole... it wasn't about him being in jail. He cried about the 85%.
There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.
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.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.