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Delhi gang rape sentence: 4 men get death penalty

Four men convicted of raping of a young woman aboard a bus in Delhi last year have been sentenced to death.

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Four men convicted of a brutal rape in Delhi in December have been handed death sentences. (Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images)

An Indian court on Friday sentenced to death four men convicted of gang-raping a young woman on a bus in Delhi last December.

The four were found guilty of rape and murder earlier this week, amid calls for them to be hanged.

The men's lawyers had asked the judge to be lenient and give them life sentences instead, CNN reported.

Yet the victim's mother pleaded with the court to hand down the death penalty.

"We beg the court that justice should be given to our daughter," she told reporters in Delhi.

The Dec. 16 attack on a 23-year-old Indian student, who died of her injuries about a week later, and a male companion (who survived) shocked India and sparked massive street protests.

A 17-year-old boy who was convicted in a juvenile court was spared a death sentence and sent to a reform home for three years. Another of the accused committed suicide in prison in March.

More from GlobalPost: How a gang rape caused turmoil in India

Outcry over the incident led to a reform of India's laws on rape, allowing for the death penalty if the attack resulted in the victim's death.

Acid attacks, sexual harassment, use of criminal force on a woman with intent to disrobe, voyeurism and stalking were also given stiffer penalties under the new law.

So far this year, 1,098 cases of rape have been reported in Delhi, according to figures cited by Agence France-Presse. That marks a large increase from last year, which may partly be an indication that victims are more willing to report the crime to police.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/130913/delhi-gang-rape-sentence-4-men-get-death-penalty