If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.
If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?
It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.