What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
There's no greater threat to our independence, to our cherished freedoms and personal liberties than the continual, relentless injection of these insidious poisons into our system. We must decide whether we cherish independence from drugs, without which there is no freedom.
Before we can diminish our sufferings from the ill-controlled aggressive assaults of fellow citizens, we must renounce the philosophy of punishment, the obsolete, vengeful penal attitude. In its place we would seek a comprehensive, constructive social attitude - therapeutic in some instances, restraining in some instances, but preventive in its total social impact. In the last analysis this becomes a question of personal morals and values. No matter how glorified or how piously disguised, vengeance as a human motive must be personally repudiated by each and every one of us.
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.”
In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.