When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.
A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
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.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
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.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
I was put into jail as I was going to the shoemaker's to get a shoe which was mended. When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish my errand, and, having put on my mended shoe, joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour -- for the horse was soon tackled -- was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
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.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
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.
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.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.