If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
If you strike at, imprison, or kill us, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!
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.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
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.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
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.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
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 torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.