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.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
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.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
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.
We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.
America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
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.
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.
I have been studying how I may compare this prison where I live unto the world; Shut up in the prison of their own consciences.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.