Nation & World News

Death For 4 Men Convicted In Indian Gang Rape And Murder

By Mark Memmott on September 13th, 2013

The four men convicted for December’s notorious gang rape and murder of a young woman in New Delhi, India, were given the death penalty on Friday.

“It took all of 90 seconds” for the judge to announce his decision and then leave the courtroom, NPR’s Julie McCarthy reports from New Delhi. One of the four convicted men “shrieked and slumped,” while outside a cheer went up when spectators heard the news, she adds.

After the judge signed the document condemning the men to death, Julie says, he broke his pen — “symbolizing the hope that he would not have to impose the death penalty again.”

As NPR has previously reported, “the horrific crime stirred a national debate over the country’s lax prosecution of crimes against women and became an international issue as well.” There were protests across the country, and the government was pressured into toughening the laws about violence against women and sexual assault.

Earlier this week, after the men’s conviction, Julie spoke about how the judge “went to great lengths to describe the crime”:

“He talked about how they lured this woman onto a bus. They turned off the lights. She believed she was on a normal bus; she wasn’t at all. They pinned her down. They took turns raping her.

“They threw her off the bus naked. They stole all her belongings. And everyone was found equally guilty. So guilty on gang rape, guilty for murder, guilty for kidnapping and unnatural offenses, which really speaks to the brutality of this attack.”

Last month, a juvenile defendant was also found guilty. He was given the maximum sentence for someone his age — three years in detention.

Another man accused in the case was found hanging in his jail cell back in March. While authorities have said he committed suicide, the man’s family has alleged that foul play was involved in his death.

We’ll have more about the men’s sentencing later. They can appeal their cases, and death penalties must be confirmed by India’s High Court before being carried out, The Associated Press says.

Update at 8:40 a.m. ET. More From The Courtroom:

While the courtroom was “packed with police, lawyers and the family of the victim,” Julie tells us, as the judge arrived to deliver the sentence “you could hear a pin drop.”

The judge “swept in, sat down, opened a folder” and said he would read from India’s law on murder. “With the speed of summer lightning,” Julie says, he read his decision. (We posted an excerpt from that earlier.)

One of the convicted men, 26-year-old Mukesh Singh, had arrived in the courtroom with “a half smile on his face,” Julie writes. Another of the men, 26-year-old Vinay Sharma, looked terrified.

The quiet turned to chaos after the judge’s decision. There was shrieking — a Reuters reporter says Sharma broke down.

The victim’s mother, meanwhile, told reporters that “my daughter got her dying wish, this is what she wanted.”

Update at 7:30 a.m. ET. Judge Says Men Don’t Deserve “Protective Arm Of The Community.”

In his short statement Friday, Judge Yogesh Khanna said in part that:

“These are the times when gruesome crimes against women have become rampant and courts cannot turn a blind eye to the need to send a strong deterrent message to the perpetrators of such crimes. …

“The subjecting of the [victim] to inhuman acts of torture before her death … not only shocked the collective conscience but calls for the withdrawal of the protective arm of the community around the convicts. This ghastly act of the convicts definitely fits this case in the bracket of rarest of rare cases.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

With Deadline Looming, Whispers Of Extension Begin In Iran Nuclear Talks

The two sides have been trying to hammer out a historic accord curbing Iran’s nuclear programs, but with less than 24 hours before a self-imposed deadline, there is still no news of a deal.


Washington, D.C., Councilman and former Mayor Marion Barry was famously re-elected after going to jail for crack cocaine possession, but started out as a champion for the city's disenfranchised.

Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Dies

The fiery Washington, D.C., politician who was famously re-elected after going to jail for crack cocaine possession, has died after months of battling a number of health issues. He was 78.


Ferguson Grand Jury Will Reportedly Meet Again Monday

A community is holding its breath, awaiting a decision on whether to charge police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, 18. Brown’s family is calling for calm.


UVA Bans Fraternities Until January In Wake Of Campus Rape Article

In a recent article, a student named Jackie describes how her initial excitement of being invited to a party was replaced by fear and violence, after a group of men trapped her in a room.


Tiny Texas Town Sees School’s Record-Setting Football Season End

The 29 players on Booker High School’s football team include two cousins who became the state’s all-time leading passer and leading receiver this season.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments