Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
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 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.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
I have been studying how I may compare This prison where I live unto the world; And, for because the world is populous, And here is not a creature but myself, I cannot do it. Yet I'll hammer it out.
Show me the prison, Show me the jail, Show me the prisoner whose life has gone stale. And I'll show you a young man with so many reasons why And there, but for fortune, go you or I.
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.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.