Fast closed with double grills And triple gates–the cell To wicked souls is hell; But to a mind that's innocent 'Tis only iron, wood and stone.
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.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
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.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
I was in prison, and you came unto me. Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
~(Jesus Christ) Matthew 25:36, 40
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.