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.
America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
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.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
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.
Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.