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India's Supreme Court Stays Execution of Gang Rape Convicts

  • VOA News

Convicted rapists (from left) Akshay Thakur and Vinay Sharma

Convicted rapists (from left) Akshay Thakur and Vinay Sharma

India's Supreme Court has stayed the execution of two men involved in the December 2012 gang rape and killing of a young woman in the capital that spurred nationwide protests.

Their lawyer, A.P. Singh, told reporters Monday that the court suspended his clients' death sentences while the two men appeal their case.

Gym instructor Vinay Sharma and cleaner Akshay Singh are among four men convicted for the 2012 brutal rape and murder of a 23-year-old student aboard a private bus in New Delhi last year. The victim died two weeks after the attack.

The death sentences for the other two men convicted in this case, Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta, have already been put on hold after they filed an appeal.

Convicted rapists (from left), Mukesh Singh, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta

Convicted rapists (from left), Mukesh Singh, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta

A juvenile was sentenced to a maximum of three years in detention, while a sixth suspect committed suicide while in custody.

The woman's death sparked massive demonstrations across India, as protesters demanded justice and greater protection for women.

The government responded by setting up special fast-track courts in the capital to try sexual offenses and by passing new anti-rape laws that also made stalking, voyeurism and other forms of sexual harassment punishable with prison terms.

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