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.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
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.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was.
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.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.
They're not supposed to show prison films in prison. Especially ones that are about escaping.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.