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.
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.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
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.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
They took away my money, my family, and my security. Why couldn't they destroy my ideas? We will question them in court tomorrow as we trigger The Revolution of all revolutions!
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.
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.
If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.