The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
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.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
Fast closed with double grills And triple gates–the cell To wicked souls is hell; But to a mind that's innocent 'Tis only iron, wood and stone.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
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.
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.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.