Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
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.
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
Concepts of justice must have hands and feet to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. That is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
I can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
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.
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.