Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
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 law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
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.
Adversities such as being homeless and going to prison has made many people stronger.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
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?
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.