Fear can be like a prison. It is, however, a self made prison. Many are imprisoned by fear. No one else can liberate them from this prison. Others may inspire them but they must liberate themselves.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
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.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
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?
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.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.