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.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
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 thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
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.
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
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.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
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.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.