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.
There's no greater threat to our independence, to our cherished freedoms and personal liberties than the continual, relentless injection of these insidious poisons into our system. We must decide whether we cherish independence from drugs, without which there is no freedom.
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?
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
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.
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.
Experts and the educated elite have replaced what worked with what sounded good. Society was far more civilized before they took over our schools, prisons, welfare programs, police departments and courts. It's high time we ran these people out of our lives and went back to common sense.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors!
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.