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.
I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was.
I have been studying how I may compare This prison where I live unto the world; And, for because the world is populous, And here is not a creature but myself, I cannot do it. Yet I'll hammer it out.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
Concepts of justice must have hands and feet to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. That is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.
On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
Adversities such as being homeless and going to prison has made many people stronger.
Prosecution I have managed to avoid; but I have been arrested, charged in a police court, have refused to be bound over, and thereupon have been unconditionally released - to my great regret; for I have always wanted to know what going to prison was like.
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 degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
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.
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.
No man survives when freedom fails. The best men rot in filthy jails, and those who cry 'appease, appease' are hanged by those they tried to please.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
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.