When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
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.
The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison walls.
The best situation of all, and one frequently utilized, is for jails and prisons to allow volunteer ministers of all faiths to enter prisons and offer their services to the inmates who want them. That way, the religious needs of inmates are met but without government funds being spent.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
We shall not yield to violence. We shall not be deprived of union freedoms. We shall never agree with sending people to prison for their convictions.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
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.