He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
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.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
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.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.