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quotations 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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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

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

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

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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

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Let the punishment be proportionate to the offense. Cicero

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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

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

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

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

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

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Take away the danger and remove the restraint, and wayward nature runs free. Horace

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

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Then spare the rod and spoil the child.

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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

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

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Every guilty person is his own hangman. Seneca the Younger

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

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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

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

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

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Nicolas Martin added Penalties serve to deter those who are not inclined to commit any crimes.

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Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful! Friedrich Nietzsche

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Hanging is too good for him said Mr. Cruelty. John Bunyan

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

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

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Punishment is justice for the unjust. Augustine of Hippo

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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

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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. George Gordon Noel Byron, 6th Baron Byron

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

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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

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

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

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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

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

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

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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