Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
I was in prison, and you came unto me. Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
~(Jesus Christ) Matthew 25:36, 40
On average, drug prisoners spend more time in federal prison than rapists, who often get out on early release because of the overcrowding in prison caused by the Drug War.
Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year. This is quite a profitable sum, especially when one considers that the Mafia spends very little for office supplies.
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.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
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.