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.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
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.
America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?
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.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
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.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
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.