In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
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.
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.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
Prosecution I have managed to avoid; but I have been arrested, charged in a police court, have refused to be bound over, and thereupon have been unconditionally released - to my great regret; for I have always wanted to know what going to prison was like.
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.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.