gang rape

Delhi Rape Suspect to be Tried as a Minor

The Juvenile Justice Board has ruled that one of the six men responsible for gang-raping and killing a woman on a bus last month is actually only 17 and must therefore stand trial in a juvenile court.

While this sounds like something that shouldn’t have needed an official ruling, ages in India are not always well-documented:

Although the court based its ruling on the suspect’s school records, its headmaster told BBC Hindi that he could not really be sure of his age.

"There is no concept of producing birth certificates in village schools at the time of admission. People just bring their children and tell us their approximate age.

“We admit a child based on what the parents tell us. We can’t really be sure of his age, but as per the school admission records, he is 17 years and six months old. He could be older than this, but I’m sure he is not younger,” he said.

Based on that evidence, how can he even be sure the suspect is not younger?

In any case, the police plan to challenge this ruling, demanding a bone ossification test as proof of age.

Another Indian Woman Gang Raped on a Bus

Trigger Warning for Rape

I’ve had 24 hours to get over this, and it still makes me so angry.

According to multiple reports, a 29-year-old woman was riding the bus home to her village Friday evening in the northern Punjab state when the driver and conductor refused to come to a stop. Instead, they took her to a remote area outside of her town, met up with five other men, and took turns raping her for the rest of the evening. They dropped her off in her village in the morning when she immediately went to authorities. Six men have been arrested, and there’s currently a man hunt for the seventh. All arrested have admitted their involvement in the rape.

The second article linked, which was posted earlier today, claims that the seventh man has now been arrested.

Two hopeful facts I glean from this incident: the woman immediately told her family and the police, and none of the reports of her story that I have read indicate that anyone has blamed her “risky” behavior or questioned her morals. Most likely the public is just too outraged right now to tolerate that sort of nonsense; let’s hope that becomes permanent.

India's Accused Gang Rapists Unable to Find Representation

Police reports revealed today that the six men accused of the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old student allegedly tried to run over over her after they raped and attacked her with an iron rod. That, on top of worldwide outrage, is making it really tough for these men to find legal representation. “We have decided that no lawyer will stand up to defend the rape accused as it would be immoral to defend the case,” said Sanjay Kumar, a lawyer and a member of the Saket District Bar Council.

This is an interesting ethical situation. I recently had a debate with some friends over whether a court-appointed defender could ethically refuse to lie on behalf of their client. My opinion: yes—all a just society can expect from defense lawyers is that they represent the accused person(s). “Represent” != “Represent with every technique available”. Hypothetically, if I was an Indian lawyer I might take this case in the interest of due process, but I would refuse to misrepresent the facts in the interest of “representing” my clients.

India Gang-Rape Victim Dies

The unnamed girl who was raped repeatedly by six different men then thrown from a moving bus has died of her injuries:

Those men have now been charged with her murder and could face execution. In the 12 days following the attack, the victim was breathing with a ventilator, her intestines were removed, and she suffered a cardiac arrest and multi-organ failure. She had said she wanted to live.

Many are now calling for not only the execution of the perpetrators but an execution sentence for any rapist. I oppose the death penalty, but I sympathize with this mentality. Still, if this tragedy only results in stronger sentencing of rapists, the Indian government will have missed the point.

"Come Into My Parlor"

Trigger Warning for Rape

The defense attorney in a gang rape case called the victim—an 11-year-old girl—a “spider”, as in, “the spider and the fly”.

Because having oral and vaginal intercourse with 20 different men in four months is something every pre-adolescent girl schemes to achieve.