Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
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.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
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.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
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.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
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.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
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.”
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
The number of laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm.
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.