Clarence Darrow
Quotations


A jury is more apt to be unbiased and independent than a court, but they very seldom stand up against strong public clamor. Judges naturally believe the defendant is guilty.

All men do the best they can. But none meet life honestly and few heroically.

All men have an emotion to kill; when they strongly dislike someone they involuntarily wish he was dead. I have never killed anyone, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.

As long as the world shall last, there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.

Calvin Coolidge was the greatest man who ever came out of Plymouth Corner, Vermont.

Chase after the truth like all hell and youíll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails.

Criminal cases receive the attention of the press. The cruel and disagreeable things of life are more apt to get the newspaper space than the pleasant ones. It must be that most people enjoy hearing of and reading about the troubles of others. Perhaps men unconsciously feel that they rise in the general level as others go down.

Do you think you can cure the hatreds and the maladjustments of the world by hanging them? You simply show your ignorance and your hate when you say it. You may here and there cure hatred with love and understanding, but you can only add fuel to the flames by cruelty and hate.

Eugene V. Debs has always been one of my heroes.

Everyone is the heir to all that has gone before; his structure and emotional life is fixed, and no two children of nature have the same heredity. I believe everyone should and must live out what is in him. So no two lives can be the same.

Great wealth often curses all who touch it.

History repeats itself. That's one of the things wrong with history.

Human action is governed largely by instinct and emotion.

I am always suspicious of righteous indignation. Nothing is more cruel than righteous indignation.

I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sureóthat is all that agnosticism means.

I don't believe in God because I don't believe in Mother Goose.

I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood.

I knew that it is out of the question to have honest, economical government while a few are inordinately rich and the great mass of men are poor. In fact, it is to be doubted if anything really worthwhile can be done until there is a fairer distribution of wealth.

If a man really has charge of his destiny at all, he should have something to say about getting born; and I only came through by a hair's-breadth. What had I to do with this momentous first step? In the language of the lawyer, I was not even a party of the second part.

In life one cannot eat his cake and have it, too; he must make his choice and then do the best he can to be content to go the way his judgment leads.

Instead of yielding to idle conversation it might profit one to cultivate silence and contemplation.

It must always be remembered that all laws are naturally and inevitably evolved by the strongest force in a community, and in the last analysis made for the protection of the dominant class.

It is just as often a great misfortune to be the child of the rich as it is to be the child of the poor. Wealth has its misfortunes. Too much, too great opportunity and advantage given to a child has its misfortunes.

It must always be remembered that this country is governed by public opinion, that public opinion is always crude, uninformed and heartless.

Judges and State's attorneys constantly cudgel their brains to think of new things to punish, and severer penalties to inflict on others.

Justice must take account of infinite circumstances which a human being cannot understand.

Laws have come down to us from old customs and folk-ways based on primitive ideas of man's origin, capacity and responsibility.

Men have always been obliged to fight to preserve liberty. Constitutions and laws do not safeguard liberty. It can be preserved only by a tolerant people, and this means eternal conflict.

Most lawyers only tell you about the cases they win. I can tell you about some I lose. A lawyer who wins all his cases does not have many.

No man is a good citizen, a good neighbor, a good friend, or a good man just because he obeys the law. The intrinsic worth is determined mainly by the intrinsic make-up.

Probably the undertaker thinks less of death than almost any other man. He is so accustomed to it that his mind must involuntarily turn from its horror to a contemplation of how much he makes out of the burial.

Religious doctrines do not and clearly cannot be adopted as the criminal code of a state.

The audience that storms the box-office of the theater to gain entrance to a sensational show is small and sleepy compared with the throng that crashes the courthouse door when something concerning real life and death is to be laid bare to the public.

The best way to understand somebody else is to put yourself in his place.

The consideration and kindness shown by unfortunates to each other are surprising to those who have no experience with this class of men. Often to find real sympathy you must go to those who know what misery means.

The Constitution is a delusion and a snare if the weakest and humblest man in the land cannot be defended in his right to speak and his right to think as much as the strongest in the land.

The difference between the child and the man lies chiefly in the unlimited confidence and buoyancy of youth.

The objector and the rebel who raises his voice against what he believes to be the injustice of the present and the wrongs of the past is the one who hunches the world along.

The really intelligent are as abnormal as the defective. The great masses of men are rather mediocre, and those above and below are exceptions.

The truth is, no man is white and no man is black. We are all freckled.

The truth is that brains have little to do with either the making or accumulating of money.

There is no such thing as justiceóin or out of court.

Those who enjoy the emotion of hating are much like the groups who sate their thirst for blood by hunting and hounding to death helpless animals as an outlet for their emotions.

We are turning our prisons into living tombs, inhabited by doomed men living in everlasting blank despair.

We in this country got our early laws from England. We took pretty much everything that was bad from England and left most that was good.

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Iím beginning to believe it.

With all their faults, trade-unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in man, than any other association of men.

You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free.



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