To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
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.
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.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
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.
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 wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?