Three men convicted in a gang-rape case that sparked public anger about women’s safety in India have had their death sentences modified by a court in Mumbai, India.
The gang rape in 2013 came after another high-profile gang rape in New Delhi the previous year, which sparked nationwide protests and resulted in stricter anti-rape laws.
A 22-year-old photojournalist was caught and repeatedly raped by three guys in Mumbai, along with two accomplices, while on assignment at an abandoned factory site.
In India’s financial centre, the Shakti Mills complex is located close to a stylish district of flats, office buildings, stores, and restaurants.
Residents of Mumbai, a city considered far safer for women than the capital New Delhi, were shocked by the attack, which sparked street protests and a national outcry in the national parliament.
Within a week after the incident, Mumbai police nabbed the three culprits and their accomplices.
Following the arrests, a 19-year-old telephone operator came forward to accuse the trio, along with two other accomplices, of rapping her at the same location a month prior.
The seven defendants, two of whom were minors, were all found guilty of the two rapes.
Following the 2012 New Delhi case, the legislation was changed to allow serial rapists to face the death penalty.
The three individuals convicted in both Mumbai attacks were sentenced to death by hanging, the first such sentencing under the new law.
They were 19, 21, and 28 years old at the time of their sentencing.
On Thursday, the Mumbai High Court confirmed their convictions but lowered their sentences to “rigorous life imprisonment” without the possibility of parole.
According to the Press Trust of India news agency, “death puts an end to the concept of repentance.”
“It is not possible to say that the defendants deserved just the death punishment. They deserve to be imprisoned for the rest of their lives in order to atone for their crimes.”