An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.


Woody Allen (1935-, American director, screenwriter, actor, comedian)


Prisons are built with stones of Law. Brothels with the bricks of religion.


William Blake (1757-1827, British poet, painter)


The generality of men are naturally apt to be swayed by fear rather than reverence, and to refrain from evil rather because of the punishment that it brings than because of its own foulness.


Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?


Jerry Brown


Hanging is too good for him said Mr. Cruelty.


John Bunyan (1628-1688, British author)


Then spare the rod and spoil the child.


Samuel Butler (1612-1680, British poet, satirist)


I should be very willing to redress men wrongs, and rather check than punish crimes, had not Cervantes, in that all too true tale of Quixote, shown how all such efforts fail.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


Retaliation is related to nature and instinct, not to law. Law, by definition, cannot obey the same rules as nature.


Albert Camus (1913-1960, French existential writer)


Hold you there, neither a strange hand nor my own, neither heavy nor light shall touch my bum.


Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616, Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet)


Let the punishment be proportionate to the offense.


Marcus T. Cicero (c. 106-43 BC, Roman orator, politician)


If we escape punishment for our vices, why should we complain if we are not rewarded for our virtues?


John Churton Collins


It is the crime not the scaffold which is the disgrace.


Pierre Corneille (1606-1684, French dramatist)


I hear much of people's calling out to punish the guilty, but very few are concerned to clear the innocent.


Daniel Defoe (1661-1731, British author)


Why not whip the teacher when the pupil misbehaves?


Diogenes of Sinope (c.410-320 BC, Cynic philosopher)


Thwackum was for doing justice, and leaving mercy to Heaven.


Henry Fielding (1707-1754, British novelist, dramatist)


In its function, the power to punish is not essentially different from that of curing or educating.


Michel Foucault (1926-1984, French essayist, philosopher)


Well, there's no one at all, they do be saying, but is deserving of some punishment from the very minute of his birth.


Lady Gregory


Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen.


Edward F. Halifax (1881-1959, British conservative statesman)


Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen.


Edward F. Halifax (1881-1959, British conservative statesman)


One should not lift the rod against our enemies upon the private information of another.


Hitopadesa (600-1100 AD, Sanskrit fable from Panchatantra)


Let us have compassion for those under chastisement. Alas, who are we ourselves? Who am I and who are you? Whence do we come and is it quite certain that we did nothing before we were born? This earth is not without some resemblance to a gaol. Who knows but that man is a victim of divine justice? Look closely at life. It is so constituted that one senses punishment everywhere.


Victor Hugo (1802-1885, French poet, dramatist, novelist)


Corporal punishment is as humiliating for him who gives it as for him who receives it; it is ineffective besides. Neither shame nor physical pain have any other effect than a hardening one.


Ellen Key (1849-1926, Swedish author, feminist)


All in all, punishment hardens and renders people more insensible; it concentrates; it increases the feeling of estrangement; it strengthens the power of resistance.


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)


Our system is the height of absurdity, since we treat the culprit both as a child, so as to have the right to punish him, and as an adult, in order to deny him consolation.


Claude Levi-Strauss (1908-, French anthropologist)


No one provokes me with impunity.


Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587, Queen of Scotland)


Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)


When God punishes a land, he deprives it’s leaders of wisdom.


Italian Proverb (Sayings of Italian origin)


If your buttocks burn, you know you have done wrong.


South African Proverb (Sayings of South African origin)


Many without punishment, none without sin.


John Ray (1627-1705, British naturalist)


Punishment is the last and the least effective instrument in the hands of the legislator for the prevention of crime.


John Ruskin (1819-1900, British critic, social theorist)


Any punishment that does not correct, that can merely rouse rebellion in whoever has to endure it, is a piece of gratuitous infamy which makes those who impose it more guilty in the eyes of humanity, good sense and reason, nay a hundred times more guilty than the victim on whom the punishment is inflicted.


Marquis De Sade (1740-1814, French author)


Every guilty person is his own hangman.


Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)


The first and greatest punishment of the sinner is the conscience of sin.


Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)


There is no person so severely punished, as those who subject themselves to the whip of their own remorse.


Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)


And where the offence is, let the great axe fall.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


Punishment is justice for the unjust.


St. Augustine (354-430, Numidian-born bishop of Hippo, theologian)


Whipping and abuse are like laudanum: you have to double the dose as the sensibilities decline.


Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896, American novelist, antislavery campaigner)


If he who breaks the law is not punished, he who obeys it is cheated. This, and this alone, is why lawbreakers ought to be punished: to authenticate as good, and to encourage as useful, law-abiding behavior. The aim of criminal law cannot be correction or deterrence; it can only be the maintenance of the legal order.


Thomas Szasz (1920-, American psychiatrist)


We have found that morals are not, like bacon, to be cured by hanging; nor, like wine, to be improved by sea voyages; nor, like honey, to be preserved in cells.


William Cooke Taylor


He must have known me if he had seen me as he was wont to see me, for he was in the habit of flogging me constantly. Perhaps he did not recognize me by my face.


Anthony Trollope (1815-1882, British novelist)


Next to the prosperity of a good person, I am best pleased with the confusion of a rascal.


Author Unknown


I'm all for bringing back the birch, but only between consenting adults.


Gore Vidal (1925-, American novelist, critic)


The punishment of criminals should serve a purpose. When a man is hanged he is useless.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


Whenever a human being, through the commission of a crime, has become exiled from good, he needs to be reintegrated with it through suffering. The suffering should be inflicted with the aim of bringing the soul to recognize freely some day that its infliction was just.


Simone Weil (1910-1943, French philosopher, mystic)


One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted; and a community is infinitely more brutalized by the habitual employment of punishment than it is by the occasional occurrence of crime.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


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