Concepts of justice must have hands and feet to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. That is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.
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.
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. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.
The best situation of all, and one frequently utilized, is for jails and prisons to allow volunteer ministers of all faiths to enter prisons and offer their services to the inmates who want them. That way, the religious needs of inmates are met but without government funds being spent.
There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war - at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
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.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
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.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
I don't like being famous - it is like a prison. And driving for Ferrari would make it far worse.
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.