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.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
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.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
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.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
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.
On average, drug prisoners spend more time in federal prison than rapists, who often get out on early release because of the overcrowding in prison caused by the Drug War.
I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
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.