It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
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.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
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?
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
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.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.