I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.
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.”
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Any punishment that does not correct, that can merely rouse rebellion in whoever has to endure it, is a piece of gratuitous infamy which makes those who impose it more guilty in the eyes of humanity, good sense and reason, nay a hundred times more guilty than the victim on whom the punishment is inflicted.
Money will determine whether the accused goes to prison or walks out of the courtroom a free man.
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 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 object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.