The object aimed at in the punishment of crimes is to secure, to each and every man alike, the fullest liberty he possibly can have—consistently with the equal rights of others—to pursue his own happiness, under the guidance of his own judgment, and by the use of his own property. On the other hand, the object aimed at in the punishment of vices is to deprive every man of his natural right and liberty to pursue his own happiness under the guidance of his own judgment and by the use of his own property.
These two objects, then, are directly opposed to each other. They are as directly opposed to each other as are light and darkness, or as truth and falsehood, or as liberty and slavery. They are utterly incompatible with each other; and to suppose the two to be embraced in one and the same government is an absurdity, an impossibility. It is to suppose the objects of a government to be to commit crimes, and to prevent crimes—to destroy individual liberty, and to secure individual liberty.