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.”
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.
Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future lives and crimes to society.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
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.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
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.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.
I just remember that disturbing feeling of walking into that prison, the complete loss of privacy, the complete loss of stimulation, dignity.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
To try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison.
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.