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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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.

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.

I am not necessarily advocating it, I just wanted to point out that there are systems that don't let lifers out on parole.

To add to your point, the guy can be pardoned.  People are boiling mad in Colorado because the governor granted some sort of delay of execution to somebody or other who was on death row.  (I'd be more specific but I am feeling really lazy ATM).

Okay, I know what ATM means in banking and porn, but I think you have a third meaning in mind.

At The Moment

Hah.  I knew what it meant in banking, but not in porn.  (Strega knew what I meant.)

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?

Yes I do think that because it's true. 50 percent of prison suicides take place in solitary confinement, but such prisoners make up only three to five percent of the U.S. prison population. For added perspective:

"Death for me will be a welcome relief and I hope it will bring some peace and comfort to those who I have hurt so much." - Steven J. Hayes, convicted of raping, killing and immolating a mother and her two daughters, in an official statement after being sentenced to death instead of life in prison without the possibility of release.

"I knew guys who dropped their appeals; not because they gave up hope on their legal claims but because of the intolerable conditions. I was able to visit another inmate before he was executed. I went there to lift his spirits and he ended up telling me that he was ready to go, and that I am the one who is going to have to keep dealing with this madness. He would rather die than continue existing under such inhumane conditions." - Anthony Graves, who served 18 years in a Texas prison before being exonerated of all crimes in 2010, testifying before a Senate Judiciary Committee on the effects of solitary confinement.

“It’s an awful thing, solitary, it crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance more effectively than any other form of mistreatment.” - Senator John McCainon his time in solitary confinement as a POW.

What is the purpose of punishment?  Is it a corrective mechanism, a deterrent, or a form of revenge?

If it is a life sentence, then it cannot be corrective, and only deterrent and revenge apply.  I don't believe revenge ever solves anything - oh sure, it can make victims feel better - or can it?  Would it not make victims feel better, or safer, if the perpetrator could never harm them again? 

As far as I can see, swift elimination, by death penalty, rids our society of these perpetrators that cannot live safely in it, and is a whole lot cheaper than maintaining a 25 year solitary confinement structure.  So from a common sense perspective, a swift execution removes the problem, and serves as a deterrent at the same time.  If the perpetrators believe they will be 'judged' by some superpower after death or not, who cares? 

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