An Indian court found four men guilty today of the infamous New Delhi bus gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman last December.
The four men — Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh, all between age 19 and 28 — will be sentenced tomorrow.
Two other men were also involved, but one was found dead in his jail cell in March (authorities said he hanged himself; his family claimed he was murdered) and the other was 17 at the time of the crime so received just three years in a juvenile correctional facility.
Indian government statistics show that a woman is raped every 22 minutes on average, but this rape was particularly vicious: a bus driver and at least six men beat up the victim's friend before attacking and raping her with the help of an iron rod for around an hour. Her injuries were so severe that some of her internal organs had to be removed, and she died two weeks later.
According to CNN, the victim's parents had tears in their eyes as the judge read out the verdict and her father has said he wants the rapists to be hanged. He's not the only one.
Kiran Bedi, a human rights activist and former Indian police officer, told CNN that a death sentence would send a "very powerful message" to those who don't feel the country takes rape seriously.
"A brutal crime gets absolutely severe punishment, so it's in proportion to the brutality of the crime," she said.
India has enacted harsher anti-rape laws and punishments for repeat offenders since the attack, but penalties won't solve rape culture; gender-equalization policies and education initiatives would go even further.
Image via AP.