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.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
Prison, dungeons, blessed places where evil is impossible because they are the crossroads of all the evil in the world. One cannot commit evil in hell.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
They took away my money, my family, and my security. Why couldn't they destroy my ideas? We will question them in court tomorrow as we trigger The Revolution of all revolutions!
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
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.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.