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.
Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
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.”
If two people fight on the street, whose fault is it? Who is the criminal? It is the government’s responsibility because the government has not educated the people to not make mistakes. The people have inadequate, incompetent education, so they make mistakes! It is such a fraud.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
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.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.