Notable Quotes
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The sole means of ridding man of crime is to rid him of freedom.


Actions punishable by jail sentences are not the only crimes.

OSAMU DAZAI, No Longer Human

Well, when the President does it that means that it is not illegal.

RICHARD NIXON, interview with David Frost, May 19, 1977

It takes a pretty dull policeman to miss the fact that the position of authority is the most prosperous criminal position available.

FRANK HERBERT, God Emperor of Dune

When crimes begin to pile up they become invisible. When sufferings become unendurable the cries are no longer heard. The cries, too, fall like rain in summer.

BERTOLT BRECHT, "When Evil-Doing Comes Like Falling Rain"

In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught.

HUNTER S. THOMPSON, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

A crime arising from a sudden passion is not so great as when the same ariseth from long meditation. For in the former case, there is a place for extenuation, in the common infirmity of human nature, but he that doth it with premeditation, has used circumspection and cast his eye on the law, on the punishment, and on the consequence thereof to human society.


The crime contains its own punishment.

K. J. PARKER, The Escapement

Crime in full glory consolidates authority by the sacred fear it inspires.

EMIL CIORAN, History & Utopia

Great crimes seldom spring from any sudden demoralization in the natures of their perpetrators. What seems a fearful precipitation of character, is usually no more than the rending of a veil from the hitherto concealed parts of it.

CHRISTIAN NESTELL BOVEE, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought

Crime is naught but misdirected energy.

EMMA GOLDMAN, "Anarchism: What It Really Stands For," Anarchism and Other Essays

Crime and punishment generally grow out of each other. Punishment is the bitter fruit that, unsuspected, ripens within the flower of the pleasure that concealed it.

ELIZA COOK, Diamond Dust

Disgrace does not consist in the punishment, but in the crime.


Before crime is committed conscience must be corrupted, and every bad man who succeeds in reaching a high point of wickedness begins with this.


I am convinced that imprisonment is a way of pretending to solve the problem of crime. It does nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture. It is a cruel and useless substitute for the elimination of those conditions--poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed--which are at the root of most punished crime. The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished.

HOWARD ZINN, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train

If poverty is the mother of all crimes, lack of intelligence is their father.

JEAN DE LA BRUYÈRE, "Of Mankind", Les Caractères

It's the denial of pleasure that leads to cancer. It's the repression of desire that leads to the crime. So I skip the middleman. Allowing myself the crime in the first place.

RICK REMENDER, Uncanny X-Force, No. 1, December 2010

The greatest crimes are committed ... for obtaining or securing the objects of ill-regulated desires, and senseless, because insatiable, passions.


We easily forget crimes that are known to none but ourselves.


Back to Crime Quotes

Read T. Augustus Forbes Leith's essay: On the Detection of Crime and Criminals

Read John Daniel Barry's essay: Prisoners of Prejudice


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