“There are people who commit great crimes, but who have extenuating circumstances. Who can know how these people stand in the eyes of God? If God had not helped us, we, too, may have become criminals. A criminal may have committed twenty crimes for example, yet I condemn him without thinking of his past. Who can know how many crimes his father may have committed before him? And how many thefts he was forced to commit while still a young child? And then, while he was still young, how many years did he spend in prison where he was coached by other, more experienced prisoners? Yet, rather than committing not twenty, but forty crimes, this criminal withheld himself. I, on the other hand, considering my heritage, education and upbringing, should have been performing miracles by now. Have I done this? No. Therefore, I have no excuse.”
– ‘Passions and Virtues