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.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
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.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
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.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
I have been studying how I may compare this prison where I live unto the world; Shut up in the prison of their own consciences.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
No man survives when freedom fails. The best men rot in filthy jails, and those who cry 'appease, appease' are hanged by those they tried to please.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.