The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
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.
I have been studying how I may compare this prison where I live unto the world; Shut up in the prison of their own consciences.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
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.
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.
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.
America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.