Prosecutors on Wednesday urged a judge to sentence four men to death after they were convicted of the gang rape and murder of a woman in New Delhi last year.
"There can be nothing more diabolic than a helpless girl put through torture," public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan told the court.
He said the death penalty was justified because of the "extreme brutality" of the attack, which took place on a moving bus in December.
His request for the severest punishment echoes the views voiced by many Indians, including members of the 23-year-old victim's family, who have called for the men to be hanged.
Defense lawyers, meanwhile, argued for leniency.
"The court must bear in mind that life imprisonment is the rule and the death sentence is the exception," said V.K. Sharma, the lawyer for one of the convicts.
After listening to both sides, Judge Yogesh Khanna said he would sentence the four men on Friday afternoon.
Protesters demand hanging
As the prosecutor made his case for execution, the victim's father sat with his eyes half-closed.
The convicts stood at the back of the court, flanked by police officers on either side.
Outside the court building, protesters had gathered.
"We want justice! Hang the rapists!" they shouted after the judge said the sentencing wouldn't happen until Friday.
Some members of the group then barged into the court building but were then quickly chased out by the police.
After a trial that lasted about seven months, the Delhi court found the men guilty of murder, rape and kidnapping on Tuesday amid a heavy media and security presence.
The victim's parents had tears in their eyes as the judge read out the verdict, in which he said the men had been convicted of "committing the murder of a helpless victim." Her brother wiped a tear from his cheek.
The four men -- Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh -- will appeal the verdict, their lawyers said.
Outrage over the brutal, deadly assault had far reaching consequences in India. It fueled protests in various cities, started a discussion about women's treatment in Indian society and prompted the introduction of tougher punishments for sexual abuse.
Calls for executions
On Wednesday, the focus was on what the consequences would be for the perpetrators of the attack.
The father of the victim, whose name has been withheld under Indian law, has repeatedly called for the four men, aged between 19 and 28, to face the death penalty.
"We have faith in the judiciary. The accused should be hanged," he told CNN sister network IBN in an interview that aired Monday.
Family members are not alone in their desire for capital punishment. Calls for the execution of those responsible for the attack have been widespread in India.
Kiran Bedi, a human rights activist and former Indian police officer, said that a death sentence would send a "very powerful message" to a country bedeviled by sexual violence.
"A brutal crime gets absolutely severe punishment, so it's in proportion to the brutality of the crime," she said.