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The Best Quotes About Punishment  

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List Rules Must be a famous or well-known quote. Vote for the Punishment sayings that strongly resonate with you, and downvote any you didn't like.

A list of the best punishment quotes and sayings, including the names of each speaker or author when available. This list is sorted by popularity, so only the most famous punishment quotes are at the top. The authors of these historic punishment quotes are displayed next to each quote, so if you see one you like be sure to check out other inspirational punishment quotes from that same writer.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best quotes about punishment?" and "What are inspirational punishment quotes?"

This list includes notable punishment quotes by various authors, writers, playwrights, speakers, politicians, athletes, poets, and more. Vote on your favorites so that the greatest punishment quotes rise to the top, as the order of the list changes dynamically based on votes. Don't let your favorite punishment sayings get to the bottom of the list.
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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
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
In its function, the power to punish is not essentially different from that of curing or educating. Michel Foucault
Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen.
It is the crime not the scaffold which is the disgrace. Pierre Corneille
Let the punishment be proportionate to the offense. Cicero
Whipping and abuse are like laudanum: you have to double the dose as the sensibilities decline. Harriet Beecher Stowe
Punishment is justice for the unjust. Augustine of Hippo
Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful! Friedrich Nietzsche
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
Thwackum was for doing justice, and leaving mercy to Heaven. Henry Fielding
Every guilty person is his own hangman. Seneca the Younger
And where the offence is, let the great axe fall. William Shakespeare
Take away the danger and remove the restraint, and wayward nature runs free. Horace
Nicolas Martin added Penalties serve to deter those who are not inclined to commit any crimes.
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 Lévi-Strauss
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
I'm all for bringing back the birch, but only between consenting adults. Gore Vidal
The punishment of criminals should serve a purpose. When a man is hanged he is useless. Voltaire
Then spare the rod and spoil the child.
Hold you there, neither a strange hand nor my own, neither heavy nor light shall touch my bum. Miguel de Cervantes
One should not lift the rod against our enemies upon the private information of another.
There is no person so severely punished, as those who subject themselves to the whip of their own remorse. Seneca the Younger
Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime. Woody Allen
Next to the prosperity of a good person, I am best pleased with the confusion of a rascal.