February 9 1950
Free Press Files
Erik V. Backstrom, a 52-year-old logger of the Cranbrook district, who was sentenced to hang following his trial at Cranbrook last August, received a reprieve and his sentence reduced to then years’ imprisonment. The murder charge was reduced to man slaughter by Chief justice Gordon Sloan.
The Chief Justice told Backstrom in sentencing him to the penitentiary term: “If it were not for errors made in the charge to the jury at your trial, you would not have escaped the gallows.” Backstrom was convicted of murder in the death of a fellow logger at the lumber camp during a quarrel, and originally sentenced to be hanged on January 27.
Messrs. Mitchell & Chandler, Fernie barristers, conducted the defence for Backstrom.
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