Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
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.
We're in a war. People who blast some pot on a casual basis are guilty of treason.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.
Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
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.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
Any punishment that does not correct, that can merely rouse rebellion in whoever has to endure it, is a piece of gratuitous infamy which makes those who impose it more guilty in the eyes of humanity, good sense and reason, nay a hundred times more guilty than the victim on whom the punishment is inflicted.
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.