A look at capital punishment in India as 4 Delhi gang rapists get death sentence

Death Row Inmateby: The Washington Post
published: 13 September 2013

Four Indian men were sentenced to death Friday for gang-raping and murdering a young woman late last year.

The men, including a part-time bus driver, were joy-riding through New Delhi on a bus on the night of Dec. 16 when they lured the 23-year-old woman and her male friend into boarding. They then beat the friend, took turns raping the woman and violated her with an iron rod. She died two weeks later of internal injuries.

The prosecutor demanded the death sentence, calling the crime barbaric, while their lawyers called for prison sentences, citing their poverty, poor education and lack of criminal history.

Here are some of the details of capital punishment in India:

— India’s legal system allows for execution in what the Supreme Court calls “the rarest of the rare cases.” What defines those cases remains debated, but the only executions in recent years have been of convicted terrorists. The vast majority of the 100-150 death sentences handed down each year are eventually commuted to life in prison. India is thought to have carried out about 50 executions since independence in 1947.

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