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Crime

  • He'd forgotten just how addictive crime can be. Repeat offenders are motivated more by withdrawal symptoms than necessity.

  • Ravelling grandly into vice / Dropping crooked into rhyme. / Slipping through the stitch of virtue, / Into crime.

    • Djuna Barnes,
    • "From Fifth Avenue Up," The Book of Repulsive Women ()
  • There are crimes which the Law cannot reach.

    • Dorothy L. Sayers,
    • "The Unprincipled Affair of the Practical Joker," Lord Peter Views the Body ()
  • Apparently, an undocumented side effect of dope is a gross overestimation of one's own intelligence. Dopers become convinced they've hidden their stash so well a cop won't find it. They're always wrong.

  • No punishment has ever possessed enough power of deterrence to prevent the commission of crimes. On the contrary, whatever the punishment, once a specific crime has appeared for the first time, its reappearance is more likely than its initial emergence could ever have been.

  • ... it is much better to prevent than to punish crimes.

  • When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There — a monarch, a dictator, a pope, a legislature — so decrees.

  • ... lawlessness is a self-perpetuating, ever-expanding habit.

  • Perhaps burglars are solitaries, and theft is only a sideline with them. The real high comes not from the money or the tape recorders, but from being alone where they ought not to be.

  • America may be the only society on earth to have experienced what has been called an 'epidemic of children killing children,' which is ravaging some of its communities today.

  • A Queen, or a Prime Minister's secretary may be shot at in London, as we know; and probably there is no person eminent in literature or otherwise who has not been the object of some infirm brain or another. But in America the evil is sadly common.

  • It may be that vice, depravity, and crime are nearly always, or even perhaps always, in their essence, attempts to eat beauty, to eat what we should only look at.

  • ... atrophy of feeling creates criminals.

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • 1940, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 3 ()
  • Crime is naught but misdirected energy.

  • Stripped of ethical rationalizations and philosophical pretensions, a crime is anything that a group in power chooses to prohibit.

  • Historically, it appears that society has capitalized on what is at most a degree of difference between the sexes in order to institutionalize the polarization of aggression.

  • If one would discern the centers of dominance in any society, one need only look to its definitions of 'virtue' and 'vice' or 'legal' and 'criminal,' for in the strength to set standards resides the strength to maintain control.

  • There is hardly any deviancy, no matter how reprehensible in one context, which is not extolled as a virtue in another. There are no natural crimes, only legal ones.

  • For many people, crime isn't a real concern until they become victims themselves.

  • ... we make our own criminals, and their crimes are congruent with the national culture we all share. It has been said that a people get the kind of political leadership they deserve. I think they also get the kinds of crime and criminals they themselves bring into being.

  • Corporate crime kills far more people and costs taxpayers far more money than street crime.

  • ... blackmail. The age-old path to the land of milk and honey. The one sure way of being paid for doing nothing.

  • Every criminal leaves psychic fingerprints. And he can't wear gloves to hide them.

  • The most savage and voracious animal never kills to increase his wealth, or open a way to grandeur. It slays to satisfy his hunger, or in a natural defense of his own life, or of those whom he is prompted by instinct to preserve.

  • ... the scope of his crimes is biblical ...

  • Crime takes but a moment but justice an eternity.

    • Ellen O'Grady,
    • in Djuna Barnes, "Woman Police Deputy Is Writer of Poetry," New York Sun Magazine ()
  • ... the accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference.

    • Bess Myerson,
    • in Claire Safran, "Impeachment?" Redbook ()
  • ... the crisis of children having children has been eclipsed by the greater crisis of children killing children.

  • Alcoholism plus criminality plus whatever caused both in the first place form a combination that is very nearly happy-ending-proof.

  • Crime, after all, can be a way of establishing identity or acquiring security — at least the magistrate addresses you by name.

  • How do you describe a mob girl? There are all types of mob girls. There's a mob girl who sleeps with one guy and she's connected to a mob ... there's a mob girl who sleeps around with a lot of different guys, gets loads of presents and favors. There was Virginia Hill ... a broad that really made it good. And there was me. I considered myself a mob girl.

  • ... sexual predators were like cockroaches. For every one you saw, there were twenty more hiding behind the walls.

  • You have read the story of Jesse James, / Of how he lived and died. / If you are still in need of something to read, / Here is the story of Bonnie and Clyde.

    • Bonnie Parker,
    • "The Story of Bonnie and Clyde" (1934), in Lew Louderback, The Bad Ones ()
  • To make certain crime doesn't pay, the government should take it over and run it.

  • I am more and more convinced that the same energy of character which renders a man a daring villain would have rendered him useful to society, had that society been well organized.

  • Two hundred years ago we made a practice of treating lunatics as criminals. Nowadays we are more inclined to treat criminals as lunatics.

  • The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable.

  • As long as fathers rule but do not nurture, as long as mothers nurture but do not rule, the conditions favoring the development of father-daughter incest will prevail.

  • Unlike men, who are apt to stab a total stranger in a drunken brawl or run amuck with a high-powered rifle, we women usually kill our intimates: We kill our children, our husbands, our lovers.

  • If criminals wanted to grind justice to a halt, they could do it by banding together and all pleading not guilty. It's only because we have plea-bargaining that our criminal justice system is still in motion. That doesn't say much for the quality of justice.

  • The murderous deed of the criminal was against conscience, the torture or the murder of the criminal by the official is with conscience. Thus the conscience is diseased and perverted, and a new class of imbruted men created. We have punished and punished for untold thousands of years, and we have not gotten rid of crime, we have not diminished it.

  • Nothing could be more grotesquely unjust than a code of morals, reinforced by laws, which relieves men from responsibility for irregular sexual acts, and for the same acts drives women to abortion, infanticide, prostitution, and self-destruction.

  • White criminals commit the biggest crimes. A brother might rob a bank. A white man will rob a pension fund. The brother is going to get ten to fifteen years because he had a gun. The white guy will get a congressional hearing because he had a job and a nice suit.

  • ... most crimes are connected to hunger. One hunger or another.

  • Some day they will go down together / And they will bury them side by side / To a few it means grief / To the law it's relief / But it's death to Bonnie and Clyde.

    • Bonnie Parker,
    • "The Story of Bonnie and Clyde" (1934), in Lew Louderback, The Bad Ones ()
  • What interests the Mafia now, as always, is the power. And now that they have achieved that, they no longer need shoot people. It's enough for them to elect political representatives who look after their economic interests.

    • Letizia Battaglia,
    • in Joe Bish, "Photographing Sicily's Mafia Men and the Pain They Caused," www.vice.com ()