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.
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.”
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
We shall not yield to violence. We shall not be deprived of union freedoms. We shall never agree with sending people to prison for their convictions.
I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
Women have worked hard; starved in prison; given of their time and lives that we might sit in the House of Commons and take part in the legislating of this country.
There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.
If two people fight on the street, whose fault is it? Who is the criminal? It is the government’s responsibility because the government has not educated the people to not make mistakes. The people have inadequate, incompetent education, so they make mistakes! It is such a fraud.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.