A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.
America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.