The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
The number of laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm.
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.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
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.
If you strike at, imprison, or kill us, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!