It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
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.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
Concepts of justice must have hands and feet to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. That is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.