It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
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.
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. I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.
The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison walls.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
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.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
I have been studying how I may compare this prison where I live unto the world; Shut up in the prison of their own consciences.
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.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
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.