An Indian judge sentenced four young men to death for the gang rape and killing of a 23-year-old student last year, sending a stern message as the world’s largest democracy grapples with widespread violence against women.
Judge Yogesh Khanna said the student was “tortured till the very end” and that the case fell into the “rarest of rare category”, which justified capital punishment.
Of the six men who were arrested, the alleged ring leader was found hanging in his prison cell in March. Another, who was 17 at the time of the attack, was convicted by a juvenile court last month and sentenced to three years in a reform centre.
Justice R S Sodhi, a retired HC judge, agreed with the sentencing, saying in this case the “balance easily tilts towards aggravating circumstances warranting death penalty”. Sodhi pointed out how each convict was involved in the brutality, and said the judge must have weighed the pros and cons beforee deciding. He, however, added, “I am not sure if death sentence is a deterrent. But yes, it is a swift punishment that leaves the victim’s kin and society relieved. In case of life term people eventually forget.”