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!
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
Prison, dungeons, blessed places where evil is impossible because they are the crossroads of all the evil in the world. One cannot commit evil in hell.
A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
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.
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.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
Whatever you think of de Sade, he was a complex figure and we should not look for easy answers with him. He was, strangely perhaps, against the death penalty, and he was never put in prison for murders or anything like that.
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.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
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.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
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.