Court sentences 4 men to death in New Delhi gang rape caseBy Harmeet Shah Singh. Jethro Mullen and Sumnima Udas, CNNUpdated 4:43 PM ET, Sat September 14, 2013Just WatchedIndia gang rape: Four sentenced to deathreplayMore Videos ...India gang rape: Four sentenced to death 02:12Story highlights "Justice has been delivered," the victim's father says People outside the court cheer and clap after the sentencingThe judge says the attack "shocked the collective conscience" of IndiaA court found the men guilty of gang raping a woman on a bus; she later diedAn 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.Opinion: Where have India's females gone?Anger about the deadly assault has had a widespread impact in India. It set off demonstrations, started a debate about women's treatment in Indian society and prompted the introduction of tougher punishments for sexual abuse.Reaction to India rape sentencing 6 photosReaction to India rape sentencing 6 photosReaction to India rape sentencing – Indian students celebrate the death sentence verdict of four men who raped and murdered a woman on a bus in New Delhi last year. The students were at a gathering in Hyderabad, India, on Friday, September 13. Hide Caption 1 of 6Reaction to India rape sentencing 6 photosReaction to India rape sentencing – Indian court staff and police officers watch demonstrators shout slogans after the sentencing at the Saket courthouse in New Delhi.Hide Caption 2 of 6Reaction to India rape sentencing 6 photosReaction to India rape sentencing – Defense lawyer A.P. Singh speaks to the media after the ruling. "This is not the victory of truth. But it is the defeat of justice," Singh shouted at the judge after hearing the death sentence.Hide Caption 3 of 6Reaction to India rape sentencing 6 photosReaction to India rape sentencing – Members of the Karnataka State Youth Congress, wearing masks of the four convicted rapists, attend a demonstration after the sentencing.Hide Caption 4 of 6Reaction to India rape sentencing 6 photosReaction to India rape sentencing – People hold candles outside the courthouse in New Delhi.Hide Caption 5 of 6Reaction to India rape sentencing 6 photosReaction to India rape sentencing – People light candles in Gauhati, India, to mark the verdict.Hide Caption 6 of 6EXPAND GALLERYJust WatchedAnger over lighter sentence for juvenilereplayMore Videos ...Anger over lighter sentence for juvenile 00:48PLAY VIDEOJust WatchedDeath sentences for India rapistsreplayMore Videos ...Death sentences for India rapists 00:57PLAY VIDEOJust WatchedConvicted Indian rapists plan to appealreplayMore Videos ...Convicted Indian rapists plan to appeal 01:49PLAY VIDEOJust WatchedAn assault on humanity in IndiareplayMore Videos ...An assault on humanity in India 01:09PLAY VIDEO"We are very happy. Justice has been delivered," said the father of the victim, whose name was withheld under Indian law.Calls for the men to be executed had come from the victim's family members, high-profile politicians and many other Indians.The announcement of the sentence was met with cheering from hundreds of protesters outside the court. Posters and banners held by those in the crowd read "hang the rapists" and "a woman's life is the foundation, do not defile it."Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said his initial reaction was that "justice was given to that girl and family."Defense attorneys had urged the judge to show leniency and sentence the men to life in prison, saying the death penalty should be the exception, not the rule.As the judge announced the death sentence, defense lawyer A.P. Singh shouted, "This is not the victory of truth. But it is the defeat of justice."A shocking attackThe brutality of the New Delhi attack, as described by police and prosecutors, helped stir the strong emotions surrounding the case.On the evening of December 16, the victim, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, had gone to see the movie "The Life of Pi" with a male friend at a New Delhi mall.During their journey home, they boarded a bus at a major intersection in upmarket South Delhi.The driver and at least five other men on the bus were drunk and looking for a "joy ride," police said.The men, from a poverty-ridden slum on the outskirts of Delhi, dragged the woman to the back of the bus and beat up her male friend.Police said the men took turns raping the woman, using an iron rod to violate her as the bus drove around the city for almost an hour. When they had finished, they dumped the two victims by the side of the road.The woman's injuries were so severe that some internal organs had to be removed. She died two weeks later at a hospital in Singapore.Four found guiltyAfter a trial that lasted about seven months, the Delhi court Tuesday convicted four of the men -- ages 19 to 28 -- of murder, rape and kidnapping. Just WatchedThe rape that shocked the worldreplayMore Videos ...The rape that shocked the world 02:39PLAY VIDEOJust WatchedVerdict handed down to teen suspectreplayMore Videos ...Verdict handed down to teen suspect 01:07PLAY VIDEOThe victim's parents had tears in their eyes as the judge read the verdict in which he said the men had been found guilty of "committing the murder of a helpless victim." Her brother wiped a tear from his cheek.The four men -- Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh -- will appeal the verdict, their attorneys said.Opinion: Victims blamed in India's rape cultureHuman rights groups criticized the decision to impose capital punishment."The rape and murder of the young woman in Delhi last year was a horrific crime, and our deepest sympathy goes out to the victim's family. Those responsible must be punished, but the death penalty is never the answer," said Tara Rao, director of Amnesty International India. "Sending these four men to the gallows will accomplish nothing except short-term revenge."Rao said there is "no evidence that the death penalty is a particular deterrent to crime, and its use will not eradicate violence against women in India."Death sentences issued by Indian courts have rarely been carried out in the past decade. No state executions took place between 2004 and late 2012, when the last surviving gunman from the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai was hanged.But human rights advocates have said they fear India's stance on executions has changed."In the past year, India has made a full-scale retreat from its previous principled rejection of the death penalty," Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said last month.Two others accusedThe fate of two others accused in the case had been determined before this week.One man, Ram Singh, 35, was found dead in his jail cell in March. Authorities said he had hanged himself, but his family said he had been murdered.A juvenile court convicted a teenage boy on August 31 for his part in the gang rape, sentencing him to three years in a special juvenile correctional facility.His trial was in juvenile court because he was 17 at the time of the crime, and the sentence is the maximum allowed under the court's rules.Many Indians, including the victim's family, expressed dissatisfaction with the sentence.The same crowd outside the courthouse that cheered Friday's death sentence for the four adults turned their ire on the juvenile. The crowd chanted, "Hang the juvenile."A lawyer for the victim's family said they would go to India's top court to contest the youth's sentence.A rape every 22 minutesAs in many countries, rape is a grimly frequent occurrence in India. According to Indian government statistics, a woman is raped every 22 minutes on average.But the New Delhi attack seized the country's attention.Advocates criticized the world's largest democracy for failing to protect half of its population. Protesters demanded better treatment of women and decried the apathy of police and the judicial system.Men respond to rape crisisThe government passed tougher anti-rape laws, introducing the death penalty for repeat offenders, and imprisonment for acid attacks, human trafficking and stalking.But some Indians said that while the laws on crimes against women have changed, mindsets and enforcement have been slower to adjust.'Take it to the source'Government figures show the number of women reporting rapes has risen significantly since the New Delhi attack and the heavy scrutiny that followed it. Observers said it indicates women who are victims of sexual attacks feel more emboldened to come forward than they did before.Meet India's Red Brigade: Teens fighting back against rapeProsecution of such crimes has improved, said Kiran Bedi, a human rights activist and former Indian police officer. But it will take a heavy emphasis on the family and school environments to resolve the problem in the long run, Bedi said."You can't just begin and end with the police and the prosecution and the courts," she said. "You have to go backward and take it to the source."India grapples with rape and sexual violenceViolence against women in IndiaThe girl whose rape changed a countryShe was attacked at a rural police station, and her landmark case awakened India decades ago. Soldier accused of sexually assaulting infantAn Indian army corporal suspected of sexually assaulting a 14-month-old girl has been taken into custody.The afterlife of a rape survivorGiving voice to the victims of violence has power. When a discussion builds around it, those voices gain strength.Gang rape victim fought for justiceThe colorful, busy streets of New Delhi are a mixture of old and new. Some people have modern attitudes, while others remain rooted in ancient values.Covering the case that changed IndiaWhen CNN's Sumnima Udas tells people outside India that she lives in New Delhi, she is almost always asked: "Do you feel safe there?" or worse, "what's with the rape culture in India?" Court sentences men to deathAn Indian court sentenced four men to death for the rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi, an attack that appalled the South Asian nation. Where have India's females gone?The New Delhi rape case left the whole world wondering why India is treating its women so badly. Four guilty in India gang-rape caseAn Indian court finds four men guilty of the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a bus in New Delhi in 2012. Victims blamed in India's rape cultureI wasn't raped, but my attackers sexually assaulted and then tried to kill me.Teens fight back against rape They're called the Red Brigade, a group of teenagers who are facing sex pests head on, vigilante-style.Indian women feel sorrow, anger A U.S. student's experience of sexual harassment in India triggers more anguish and sympathy from women in India.'The story you never wanted to hear'American student Michaela Cross says during a three-month trip to India she experienced relentless sexual harassment, groping and worse.India: Has anything changed?Months after the brutal rape of an Indian woman on a bus, have measures to address violence against women worked?Life as a woman in India's capitalNew Delhi is known as the crime capital of India. CNN's Sumnima Udas talks to women there about what daily life is like.Indian men respond to rape crisisThere's one clear observation from the outcry to India's rape crisis: some of the voices belong to India's men.Lakshmi: Problem goes beyond rape'Top Chef' Host Padma Lakshmi weighs in on the New Delhi gang rape case and shares her experience living in India.Opinion: Why execution is no solutionThe director of Amnesty International, India, says that execution "would just perpetuate the cycle of violence."CNN rides along with Delhi police The Delhi police bore the brunt of criticism for a December gang rape, but now they say they're changing their ways.iReporters: 'She could have been me'The fatal gang rape of a young woman sparked weeks of angry protests and heated debates about sexual violence in Indian society. Misogyny in India: We are all guiltyThe New Delhi woman who was gang-raped died with her honor intact; her rapists will live in ignominy, actress Leeza Mangaldas writes.More from asiaIndian court bans controversial interview with convicted rapistCommercial jet skids off runway at airport in NepalIndia: Rape documentary excerpts 'incite violence against women'