The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic.

—G.K. Chesterton, 1911

Punishment is a sort of medicine.

—Aristotle, c. 340 BC

There is no crime without precedent. 

—Seneca the Younger, c. 60

I’ve got some shit I’m conservative about and some shit I’m liberal about. Crime—I’m conservative. Prostitution—I’m liberal.

—Chris Rock, 2008

The land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.

—The Bible

The more religious a country is, the more crimes are committed in it.

—Napoleon Bonaparte, 1817

To live outside the law you must be honest.  

—Bob Dylan, 1966

A crowded police court docket is the surest sign that trade is brisk and money plenty.

—Mark Twain, 1872

Two crimes undid me: a poem and a mistake. 

—Ovid, 10

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

—Michel Foucault, 1975

Our crime against criminals is that we treat them as villains.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1898

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

—Gore Vidal, 1973

No punishment has ever possessed enough power of deterrence to prevent the commission of crimes.

—Hannah Arendt, 1963