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Lawrence Durrell

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Guilt always hurries towards its complement, punishment; only there does its satisfaction lie.

 
Lawrence Durrell

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Because of subconscious guilt, people spend half their lives in self-punishment and the other half taking on more guilt.

 
Eugene J. Martin
 

Twenty years. Well ... that's fair enough. They couldn't have given me a lighter sentence, considering the facts, and I can't complain. I said the sentences must be severe, and I admitted my share of the guilt, so it would be ridiculous if I complained about the punishment.

 
Albert Speer
 

I propose that it shall be no longer malum in se for a citizen to pummel, cowhide, kick, gouge, cut, wound, bruise, maim, burn, club, bastinado, flay, or even lynch a [government] jobholder, and that it shall be malum prohibitum only to the extent that the punishment exceeds the jobholder’s deserts. The amount of this excess, if any, may be determined very conveniently by a petit jury, as other questions of guilt are now determined. The flogged judge, or Congressman, or other jobholder, on being discharged from hospital — or his chief heir, in case he has perished — goes before a grand jury and makes a complaint, and, if a true bill is found, a petit jury is empaneled and all the evidence is put before it. If it decides that the jobholder deserves the punishment inflicted upon him, the citizen who inflicted it is acquitted with honor. If, on the contrary, it decides that this punishment was excessive, then the citizen is adjudged guilty of assault, mayhem, murder, or whatever it is, in a degree apportioned to the difference between what the jobholder deserved and what he got, and punishment for that excess follows in the usual course.

 
H. L. Mencken
 

Whoever imposes severe punishment becomes repulsive to the people; while he who awards mild punishment becomes contemptible. But whoever imposes punishment as deserved becomes respectable. For punishment when awarded with due consideration, makes the people devoted to righteousness and to works productive of wealth and enjoyment; while punishment, when ill-awarded under the influence of greed and anger or owing to ignorance, excites fury even among hermits and ascetics dwelling in forests, not to speak of householders.

 
Chanakya
 

I will be candid. I believe God is a just God, rewarding and punishing us exactly as we act well or ill. I believe that such reward and punishment follow necessarily from His will as revealed in natural law, as well as in the Bible. I believe that as the highest justice is the highest mercy, so He is a merciful God. That the guilty should suffer the measure of penalty which their guilt has incurred, is justice. What we call mercy is not the remission of this, but rather the remission of the extremity of the sentence attached to the act, when we find something in the nature of the causes which led to the act which lightens the moral guilt of the agent. That each should have his exact due is Just — is the best for himself. That the consequence of his guilt should he transferred from him to one who is innocent (although that innocent one he himself willing to accept it), whatever else it be, is not justice. We are mocking the word when we call it such. If I am to use the word justice in any sense at all which human feeling attaches to it, then to permit such transfer is but infinitely deepening the wrong, and seconding the first fault by greater injustice. I am speaking only of the doctrine of the atonement in its human aspect, and as we are to learn anything from it of the divine nature or of human duty.

 
James Anthony Froude
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