The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
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.
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 impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
To try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
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.
Fast closed with double grills
And triple gates – the cell
To wicked souls is hell;
But to a mind that's innocent
'Tis only iron, wood and stone.
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.
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. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
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.