4 of the six Indian men charged with brutally raping and torturing a New Delhi woman were sentenced to hang for their crimes. An Indian court handed down the sentence today for the gang rape of 23-year-old Jyoti Singh Pande and the savage beating of her male friend on a bus last December.
As the death sentence was read, the four doomed mean wailed in the courtroom. Vinay Sharma, 20, the bus driver, Akshay Thakur, 28, Pawan Gupta, 19, and Mukesh Singh, all claimed innocence.
Jyoti's death sparked mass riots in New Delhi and outrage all over the world.
One of the six rapists, Ram Singh, 33, hanged himself in prison. THe youngest rapist -- and the one who reportedly committed the worst atrocities upon Jyoti -- was tried as a juvenile. Now 19, he was sentenced to serve only 3 years in a reform school.
Police say that after the men took turns sexually assaulting the physiotherapy intern on the moving bus, the twisted juvenile used a rusted tire iron to rape the woman. She died from massive internal bleeding thirteen days later.
Police said the youngest rapist was "the most brutal attacker" and had "sexually abused his victim twice and ripped out her intestines with his bare hands."
Rapes are a normal occurrence in India, where men far outnumber women. Rape involving female tourists has increased by a staggering 35 percent.
"Too often the pressure is on the girls to stay safe. But parents need to take responsibility for their sons," said protester Satvinder Kaur, a 40-year-old mother. "The culture will only change when mothers stop their sons from going out late at night, when they make it clear they will not stand behind them if they do something like this."
Kaur said the sentence sent "a very positive message to the ladies in India that the government is standing behind them."