Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
Prosecution I have managed to avoid; but I have been arrested, charged in a police court, have refused to be bound over, and thereupon have been unconditionally released - to my great regret; for I have always wanted to know what going to prison was like.
We shall not yield to violence. We shall not be deprived of union freedoms. We shall never agree with sending people to prison for their convictions.
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.
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.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
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.
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 law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
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.
Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.
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.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.