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.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
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.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
No man survives when freedom fails. The best men rot in filthy jails, and those who cry 'appease, appease' are hanged by those they tried to please.
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
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.
It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
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.”
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.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
Money will determine whether the accused goes to prison or walks out of the courtroom a free man.
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.