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.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking…is freedom.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
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.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
Concepts of justice must have hands and feet to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. That is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.
I am an expert of electricity. My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at the state prison.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.