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.
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.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
I just remember that disturbing feeling of walking into that prison, the complete loss of privacy, the complete loss of stimulation, dignity.
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
Whatever you think of de Sade, he was a complex figure and we should not look for easy answers with him. He was, strangely perhaps, against the death penalty, and he was never put in prison for murders or anything like that.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.
Money will determine whether the accused goes to prison or walks out of the courtroom a free man.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.