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Prison Quotes

Hard cases, it is said, make bad law.

Lord John Campbell
Total votes: 35

The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.

Oliver Goldsmith
Total votes: 25

Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.

Edward R. Murrow
Total votes: 23

Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.

Friedrich Nietzsche
You voted 5. Total votes: 31

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.

Reverend Martin Niemoeller
Total votes: 27

A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.

Ouida (pseudonym of Marie Louise de la Ramee)
Total votes: 18


Karl Menninger
Total votes: 19

Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law.

Oliver Goldsmith
Total votes: 20

The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.

Walter Raleigh Sr.
Total votes: 22

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.

Henry David Thoreau
Total votes: 19

Self is the only prison that can bind the soul.

Henry Van Dyke
Total votes: 26


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.

Anacharsis
Total votes: 25


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.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Total votes: 20

One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.

Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal)
Total votes: 25

Liberty is rendered even more precious by the recollection of servitude.

Marcus Tullius Cicero
Total votes: 25

Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.

Charles Caleb Colton
Total votes: 30

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.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 28

It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.

Sir Philip Sidney
Total votes: 17

I know how men in exile feed on dreams of hope.

Aeschylus
Total votes: 26

Show me the prison, Show me the jail, Show me the prisoner whose life has gone stale. And I'll show you a young man with so many reasons why And there, but for fortune, go you or I.

Phil Ochs
Total votes: 14

Let us remember that justice must be observed even to the lowest.

Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero)
Total votes: 27

Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.

Marcus Porcius Cato
Total votes: 29

To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.

William Gilmore Simms
Total votes: 27


When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.

Mike Tyson
Total votes: 21

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.

Jessica Mitford
Total votes: 30