NEW DELHI - A judge on Friday sentenced to death the four men convicted in the December gang rape and murder of a young New Delhi woman, ordering them to the gallows for a brutal attack on a bus that left the young woman with such severe internal injuries that she died two weeks later.
"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 in announcing the sentence. He said the attack "shocked the collective conscience" of India.
Hearing the death sentence, the wail of one of the four men, 20-year-old Vinay Sharma, filled the tiny courtroom. Sharma, an assistant at a gym, then broke down in sobs.
"This is not the victory of truth. But it is the defeat of justice," defense lawyer A.P. Singh, who at times has worked with all four of the defendants, shouted at the judge.
Like all death sentences, Khanna's order must be confirmed by India's High Court. The men can appeal their case to the High Court, as well as to the Supreme Court, and ask the president for clemency.
The victim's family, along with numerous politicians and government officials, had long called for the men to be executed.