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The Difference Between Outlaws and Criminals.

Most of us think of the television Western series Gunsmoke when we hear the word “outlaw,” but have you ever wondered what the difference is between an outlaw and a criminal is? Believe it or not, there’s actually a difference. In historical legal systems, an outlaw was declared to be “outside the protection of the law,” so anyone was legally empowered to kill them. That’s why folks in the Old West would pull out their sidearm and shoot a person they deemed guilty of a crime. A criminal, on the other hand, is someone who has broken the law, but is also protected by the legal system. It all boils down to “outlaw” being an archaic word.