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.
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.
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.
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.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
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.
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.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
Money will determine whether the accused goes to prison or walks out of the courtroom a free man.
Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.
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.
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.
We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.
If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?