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.
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
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.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
Money will determine whether the accused goes to prison or walks out of the courtroom a free man.
We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.
He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.
If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking…is freedom.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.