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.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
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.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
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.
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.
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.