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.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
We shall not yield to violence. We shall not be deprived of union freedoms. We shall never agree with sending people to prison for their convictions.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
Fear can be like a prison. It is, however, a self made prison. Many are imprisoned by fear. No one else can liberate them from this prison. Others may inspire them but they must liberate themselves.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
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.
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.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.