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.
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.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
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 just remember that disturbing feeling of walking into that prison, the complete loss of privacy, the complete loss of stimulation, dignity.
We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
If you strike at, imprison, or kill us, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking…is freedom.