No man survives when freedom fails. The best men rot in filthy jails, and those who cry 'appease, appease' are hanged by those they tried to please.
There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.
There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war - at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake.
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.
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.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
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 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.
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.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
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.”
The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.