One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
I have been studying how I may compare This prison where I live unto the world; And, for because the world is populous, And here is not a creature but myself, I cannot do it. Yet I'll hammer it out.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
We have our own system, ... and journalists in our system are not put in prison for embarrassing the government by revealing things the government might not wish to have revealed. The important thing is that our system, under which journalists can write without fear or favor, should continue.
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?
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Women now have choices. They can be married, not married, have a job, not have a job, be married with children, unmarried with children. Men have the same choice we've always had: work, or prison.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
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.
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.
There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.