An Indian court sentenced four men to death Friday for the rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi, an attack that appalled the South Asian nation.

Announcing the sentence, Judge Yogesh Khanna said the crime "shocked the collective conscience" of India and fell into the "rarest of rare category" that deserves capital punishment.

"In these times when crimes against women are on the rise, the court cannot turn a blind eye to this gruesome act," he said.

One of the convicted men, Vinay Sharma, broke down in tears and cried loudly as the judge spoke.
Prosecutors had asked for the death penalty for the men, citing the "extreme brutality" of the attack,
which took place on a moving bus in December. They had also argued the court needed to send a message to Indian society with its judgment.

(read the rest of the article here)

Is the death sentence appropriate in this case? Anyone who's normally against capital punishment ready to make an exception for cases like this?

Tags: Delhi, New, death, rapists, sentence

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I didn't say, "feed them live, balls first, to a pack of hungry pigs". I would never suggest such uncivilized punishment.

Have they caught the slime ball who shot Malala Yousafzai?

Pieces of shit, indeed.

My only hesitation about supporting the death penalty for forcible rape is that I suspect a lot of rape victims would end up strangled right afterwards (as they are witnesses to a capital crime).  It is emotionally satisfying to think about making it a capital crime, but would simply result in lots more dead women.

I do think that having them die from lead poisoning on the scene at the hands of their intended victim would be appropriate; I'd love to see many more women armed.  (That's not going to happen in India though.)  Disparity in physical strength?  Two to three pounds of steel will fix that.

Women are less likely to use lethal force than men, I fear. Just a psychological difference between the sexes. She may regard using a gun as Plan B, by which time it's probably too late.

I would say it depends heavily on the individual woman.  As such, I certainly wouldn't want to deny them the option.  If they deny it to themselves, that's a different matter.

In the United States more and more women are showing an interest in being able to defend themselves, and I think this is a wholly positive development.

Is the death sentence appropriate in this case? Anyone who's normally against capital punishment ready to make an exception for cases like this?

I am against capital punishment. This is not because I am merciful. Execution offers a quick and painless exit from life and a merciful escape from punishment. This simply will not do.

I am incensed when a religious judge, speaking for a religious state, hands down the sentence with the words: "May God have mercy on your soul." This prayer for the condemned is just as unconstitutional as the "In God We Trust" emblazoned on the wall over the judge.

I do not trust in Gods, souls, or an afterlife where mercy and justice are served. The state has no business endorsing these beliefs or meting out punishment on their basis. No, I want the condemned to serve a natural sentence in their natural lives, not handed over for supernatural punishment in fairyland.

Life in solitary confinement is the worst punishment imaginable for those who commit the worst crimes imaginable. Let them spend spend 23.5 hours a day locked in a cell. Let them live with minimal human contact except for what is necessary for nutrition, health, and exercise (in a small indoor room). This is a living hell of misery and despair. To experience this hell is why I want them to live: death by incarceration.

Applied to the case in India, the death sentences are serving another purpose besides punishment for the condemned. The publicity surrounding the case creates an opportunity to make the sentences into a warning to other would-be rapists and address the problem of rampant sexual assaults in India. The common people see death as the worst punishment imaginable (although it is not) so the court is making use of this as a deterrent.

Life in solitary confinement is the worst punishment imaginable for those who commit the worst crimes imaginable.

Do you really think that a convicted murderer would typically say "I'd rather you just killed me" if offered the option of solitary confinement?

Don't make me laugh. This sort of argument has never rung true to me.

Life in solitary confinement is the worst punishment imaginable for those who commit the worst crimes imaginable.

I don't know how it is in India...but in the US there's likely always the ability to get out on "good time" w/ parole/probation etc etc...very few criminals actually serve their whole sentence.

In solitary confinement, there remains the possibility of escape. It happens. 

Felon David Puckett managed to escape from solitary confinement at a maximum security prison in Beaumont, Texas.

A corpse can't escape.

In solitary confinement, there remains the possibility of escape. It happens. Felon David Puckett managed to escape from solitary confinement at a maximum security prison in Beaumont, Texas. A corpse can't escape.

Death row inmate Charles Victor Thompson escaped in 2005. Martin E. Gurule escaped death row in 1998. The Briley Brothers, Lem Tuggle, Earl Clanton, Derick Peterson, and Willie Lloyd Turner all escaped death row in 1984.

Most death row inmates wait 15 years for their sentences to be appealed. William Thompson spent 32 years on death row.

It happens.

I don't know how it is in India...but in the US there's likely always the ability to get out on "good time" w/ parole/probation etc etc...very few criminals actually serve their whole sentence.

I'm suggesting 'Death by Incarceration" to mean "Life without parole".

Colorado has the sentence "life without possibility of parole."  In other words, "life, and we mean LIFE dammit."

Why give them hope? Hope of escaping. Hope of appeals.

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