NEW DELHI – An Indian judge is expected to hand down sentences Friday in the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a New Delhi bus, with the prosecutor and others calling for the four convicted rapists to be executed.
The men were convicted Tuesday in the December attack of the 23-year-old woman, a brutal crime that unleashed a wave of public anger over the treatment of women in India. The woman died two weeks after the attack of internal injuries.
The four men were facing either life imprisonment or death by hanging. Calls for them to be executed have grown increasingly loud, with everyone from the victim’s parents to top political leaders demanding the death sentence.
In calling for the four to be hanged, prosecutor Dayan Krishnan said Wednesday that the attack shocked India’s “collective conscience,” noting that the police report showed the men pulled out some of the victim’s body parts after savagely penetrating her with an iron rod.
“There can be nothing more diabolic than a helpless girl put through torture,” he said.
Judge Yogesh Khanna said he would hand down the sentences Friday.
India’s Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty should only be used in “the rarest of rare cases,” though what defines those cases remains highly debated.
By most estimates, more than 100 people are sentenced to death in India in most years, but the vast majority of those cases are eventually commuted to life in prison.