A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
Before we can diminish our sufferings from the ill-controlled aggressive assaults of fellow citizens, we must renounce the philosophy of punishment, the obsolete, vengeful penal attitude. In its place we would seek a comprehensive, constructive social attitude - therapeutic in some instances, restraining in some instances, but preventive in its total social impact. In the last analysis this becomes a question of personal morals and values. No matter how glorified or how piously disguised, vengeance as a human motive must be personally repudiated by each and every one of us.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
I am an expert of electricity. My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at the state prison.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
We shall not yield to violence. We shall not be deprived of union freedoms. We shall never agree with sending people to prison for their convictions.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.