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.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
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.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.