Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
We're in a war. People who blast some pot on a casual basis are guilty of treason.
I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was. I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
We shall not yield to violence. We shall not be deprived of union freedoms. We shall never agree with sending people to prison for their convictions.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.