The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
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?
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
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.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.