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.
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.
Whatever you think of de Sade, he was a complex figure and we should not look for easy answers with him. He was, strangely perhaps, against the death penalty, and he was never put in prison for murders or anything like that.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
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.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
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.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.