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[ Also see Capital Punishment Crime Cruelty Death Devil Discipline Execution Gibbets Guillotine Guilt Hell Judgment Justice Law Mercy Pain Pardon Prison Redemption Results Retaliation Retribution Revenge Reward Scaffold Thieving Wickedness ]

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.
      - Walter Savage Landor

For whoso spareth the spring (Switch) spilleth his children.
      - William Langland, Piers Ploughman

The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
      - David Herbert Lawrence

Nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world.
      - Abraham Lincoln

If punishment makes not the will supple it hardens the offender.
      - John Locke (1)

If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
      - John Locke (1)

The sins committed by many pass unpunished.
  [Lat., Quidquid multis peccatur inultum est.]
      - Lucanus (Marcus Annaeus Lucan), Pharsalia
         (V, 260)

The object of punishment is, prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
      - Horace Mann,
        Lectures and Reports on Education
         (lecture VII)

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.
      - Henry Louis Mencken

Unrespited, unpitied, unreprieved.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. II, l. 185)

Our torments also may in length of time
  Become our elements.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. II, l. 274)

Back to thy punishment,
  False fugitive, and to thy speed add wings,
    Least with a whip of Scorpions I pursue
      Thy lingring, or with one stroke of this Dart
        Strange horror seise thee, and pangs unfelt before.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. II, l. 699)

We do not correct the man we hang; we correct others by him.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

The severity of laws prevents their execution. When the penalty is excessive, one is forced to prefer impunity.
      - Charles de Montesquieu (Charles-Louis de Secondat)

There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.
      - Thomas Moore

Just prophet, let the damn'd one dwell
  Full in the sight of Paradise,
    Beholding heaven and feeling hell.
      - Thomas Moore,
        Lalla Rookh--Fire Worshippers (l. 1,028)

Ay--down to the dust with them, slaves as they are,
  From this hour, let the blood in their dastardly veins,
    That shrunk at the first touch of Liberty's war,
      Be wasted for tyrants, or stagnant in chains.
      - Thomas Moore,
        Lines on the Entry of the Austrians into Naples

Die and be damned.
      - Thomas Mortimer ("British Plutarch"),
        Against the Calvinistic doctrine of eternal punishment

A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
      - Ouida (pseudonym of Marie Louise de la Ramee)

Let those who have deserved their punishment, bear it patiently.
  [Lat., Aequo animo poenam, qui meruere, ferant.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Amorum
         (II, 7, 12)

Do not lay on the multitude the blame that is due to a few.
  [Lat., Paucite paucarum diffundere crimen in omnes.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Ars Amatoria
         (III, 9)

It is less to suffer punishment than to deserve it.
  [Lat., Estque pati poenas quam meruisse minus.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso),
        Epistoloe Ex Ponto (I, 1, 62)

It is as expedient that a wicked man be punished as that a sick man be cured by a physician; for all chastisement is a kind of medicine.
      - Plato (originally Aristocles}

It is advantageous that the gods should be believed to attend to the affairs of man; and the punishment of evil deeds, though sometimes late, is never fruitless.
  [Lat., Deos agere curam rerum humanarum credi, ex usu vitae est: poenasque maleficiis, aliquando seras, nunquam autem irritas esse.]
      - Pliny the Elder (Caius Plinius Secundus),
        Historia Naturalis (II, 5, 10)

And still adore the hand that gives the blow.
      - John Pomfret

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