Comment: Here, let me try. It is not

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In reply to comment: The distinction escapes me. (see in situ)

Here, let me try. It is not

Here, let me try.

It is not legal for you to go up to a person who killed 20 people yesterday and pull the trigger on him today. However, there is a lawful way to kill such a person. The lawful way is to indict him, bring him to court, have a jury of peers convict him of the crime, then assign him the death penalty as his sentence. The end result is the same, either way. It is not legal to kill the guy but it is lawful to kill him provided he was afforded his rights to trial, etc.