The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
Federal prison, if you get any of it, you're going to have to do 85% of it. And the reason why I called it that is because I had a friend who got sent to the federal joint and his whole... it wasn't about him being in jail. He cried about the 85%.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
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?
We have our own system, ... and journalists in our system are not put in prison for embarrassing the government by revealing things the government might not wish to have revealed. The important thing is that our system, under which journalists can write without fear or favor, should continue.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Prison, dungeons, blessed places where evil is impossible because they are the crossroads of all the evil in the world. One cannot commit evil in hell.
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.
Women now have choices. They can be married, not married, have a job, not have a job, be married with children, unmarried with children. Men have the same choice we've always had: work, or prison.
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.