It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
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.
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
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.
Experts and the educated elite have replaced what worked with what sounded good. Society was far more civilized before they took over our schools, prisons, welfare programs, police departments and courts. It's high time we ran these people out of our lives and went back to common sense.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.