The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
Let us remember that justice must be observed even to the lowest.
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.
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.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.
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.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.
Women now have choices. They can be married, not married, have a job, not have a job, be married with children, unmarried with children. Men have the same choice we've always had: work, or prison.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
Fear can be like a prison. It is, however, a self made prison. Many are imprisoned by fear. No one else can liberate them from this prison. Others may inspire them but they must liberate themselves.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.