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.
Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.
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.”
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
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.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows.
The best situation of all, and one frequently utilized, is for jails and prisons to allow volunteer ministers of all faiths to enter prisons and offer their services to the inmates who want them. That way, the religious needs of inmates are met but without government funds being spent.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.