The Indian people have spoken: four men convicted of the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman were sentenced to death today.
The four men, along with two others, attacked Jyoti Singh Pandey, a med student, and her male friend, on December 16, 2012, while they rode a bus home from a movie in New Delhi. The victims assumed the bus would safely take them home, but it turned out to be filled with a group of men from the city’s slums who were joyriding around town. After restraining her male friend, several of the men gang raped Pandey and penetrated her with a metal rod so badly that her intestines had to be removed. The two were dumped naked and injured on the side of the road. Gravely injured, Pandey was relocated to a hospital in Singapore, where she died from her injuries two weeks later.
One of the rapists committed suicide in prison; the other attacker was under age 18 and was sentenced to three years in a reformatory. Women’s rights protests in India rallied to update the country’s laws on sexual violence. Pandey’s parents, who have publicly named themselves and their daughter, have supported the death penalty for her killers.
The four men were sentenced to death by hanging. “In these times, when crime against women is on the rise, the courts cannot turn a blind eye toward such gruesome crimes,” Judge Yogesh Khanna said during the sentencing. However, The New York Times explained that India’s High Court must approve the sentence and still then the attackers could appeal.
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