“Crime has its cause. Perhaps all crimes do not have the same cause. Perhaps all crimes do not have the same cause but they all have some cause. And people today are seeking to find out the cause. We lawyers never try to find out. . . .”

“Crime has its cause. Perhaps all crimes do not have the same cause. Perhaps all crimes do not have the same cause but they all have some cause. And people today are seeking to find out the cause. We lawyers never try to find out. Scientists are studying it; criminologists are investigating it; but we lawyers go on and on and on, punishing and hanging and thinking that by general terror we can stamp out crime.

It never occurs to the lawyer that crime has a cause as certainly as disease, and that the way to rationally treat any abnormal condition is to remove the cause. If a doctor were called on to treat typhoid fever he would probably try to find out what kind of milk or water the patient drank, and perhaps clean out the well so that no one else could get typhoid from the same source. But if a lawyer was called on to treat a typhoid patient, he would give him thirty days in jail, and then he would think that nobody else would ever dare to take it. If the patient got well in fifteen days, he would be kept until his time was up; if the disease was worse at the end of thirty days, the patient would be released because his time was out.”

-Clarence Darrow