In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
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.
Women now have choices. They can be married, not married, have a job, not have a job, be married with children, unmarried with children. Men have the same choice we've always had: work, or prison.
I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was. I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.