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Delhi gang rape: Four men sentenced to death

September 13, 2013 | By

New Delhi, India (September 13, 2013): It is learnt that all four men convicted of raping and murdering a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi were sentenced to death on September 13, 2013 by the fast track trial court.

According to media report “[c]heers went up from a crowd outside the Delhi court when lawyers rushed out to announce the sentence handed down for last December’s assault, which triggered furious protest across India and rare national debate about violence against women”.

A demonstrator shouts slogans out side a court in New Delhi

A demonstrator shouts slogans out side a court in New Delhi

“This has shocked the collective conscience of society,” Judge Yogesh Khanna said, condemning the men to death by hanging.

“In these times when crime against women is on the rise, courts cannot turn a blind eye towards such gruesome crime. There cannot be any tolerance … This crime in every way falls within the rarest of rare category warranting a death sentence.”

According to Reuters India [t]he sentencing was one of the biggest tests in years of India’s paradoxical attitude towards the death penalty.

“The country’s judges hand down, on average, 130 death sentences every year but India has executed just three people in the past 17 years. Despite its apparent reluctance to carry out the sentences, last year India voted against a U.N. draft resolution calling for a global moratorium on executions” the Reuters India has reported.

As per information lawyers for all four convicts said they would appeal, which means their execution could still be years away. The ruling still has to be ratified by the Delhi High Court, and the four men can appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. If they confirm the sentences, the final decision will lie with the president, who has the power to grant clemency.

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