It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
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!
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
I can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.
We're in a war. People who blast some pot on a casual basis are guilty of treason.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
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.”
They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors!
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.