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.
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.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
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.
I am an expert of electricity. My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at the state prison.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
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.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.