You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
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.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
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.
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.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
I was in prison, and you came unto me. Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
~(Jesus Christ) Matthew 25:36, 40
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
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.
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.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.