When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
Whatever you think of de Sade, he was a complex figure and we should not look for easy answers with him. He was, strangely perhaps, against the death penalty, and he was never put in prison for murders or anything like that.
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.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
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.
Prosecution I have managed to avoid; but I have been arrested, charged in a police court, have refused to be bound over, and thereupon have been unconditionally released - to my great regret; for I have always wanted to know what going to prison was like.
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.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
Governments have tried to stop crime through punishment throughout the ages, but crime continued in the past punishment remains. Crime can only be stopped through a preventive approach in the schools. You teach the students Transcendental Meditation, and right away they’ll begin using their full brain physiology sensible and they will not get sidetracked into wrong things.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.
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.
He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.