Death Penalty Upheld in Indian Gang Rape

A court in India has reaffirmed that four men found guilty of raping and murdering a woman on a bus will receive the death penalty.

Indian students take part in a candlelight vigil commemorating the December 2012 fatal gang-rape of an Indian woman, in New Delhi on Dec.16, 2013.

Indian students take part in a candlelight vigil commemorating the December 2012 fatal gang-rape of an Indian woman, in New Delhi on Dec.16, 2013

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In September, four men were sentenced to death for raping and murdering a medical student on a bus. On Thursday a higher court in New Delhi reaffirmed their punishment, reports The Associated Press

In December 2012, a 23-year-old medical student and a friend had gone to the movies together and were on their way home when several men persuaded them to board a bus. The men beat the friend and brutally raped the medical student. She died two weeks later from her injuries, noted the AP.

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Six men were arrested after the attack. Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Kumar Singh and Pawan Gupta were found guilty and convicted to death by hanging, reports the Chicago Tribune. Of the two additional suspects, one was found dead in his cell and the other, a minor, at the time of the attack, now 18, was sent to "a reform home" for three years, according to the BBC.

"These men have been falsely implicated," said A.P. Singh, a lawyer representing the four convicted men, at different points in the trial, according to the AP.

But Judge Yogesh Khanna who sentenced the men in September said the attack "shocked the collective conscience" of India, the BBC reported.

Widespread protests followed the attack. 

"The day the murderers of my daughter are hanged, we will feel we have got justice," the victim's mother, who could not be named, said after a high court in New Delhi affirmed the sentence, the Chicago Tribune reports.