Death by hanging.

That was the fate of more than 700 people in Canada between Confederation in 1867 and the abolition of capital punishment in 1976. How did this affect individuals caught up in the criminal justice system during this dark chapter of our history?

The family of Elizabeth Popovitch was devastated when she was hanged in 1946 for the robbery and brutal slaying of her benefactor.

Cook Teets was hanged for poisoning his wife, but he could not have administered the poison.

A youth was hanged a second time after recovering from his first hanging.

These and other sad, horrific, bizarre, but sometimes uplifting stories of people involved in the criminal justice system formed the basis of my recent conversation with Russell Bowers on the CBC’s Daybreak Alberta.