In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
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.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
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.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future lives and crimes to society.
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 public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
Show me the prison, Show me the jail, Show me the prisoner whose life has gone stale. And I'll show you a young man with so many reasons why And there, but for fortune, go you or I.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
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.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
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 object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.