If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
Money will determine whether the accused goes to prison or walks out of the courtroom a free man.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.
There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
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.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
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.
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.
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war - at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake.