The hanging of two of the four men convicted for raping and murdering a woman in New Delhi in late 2012 has been stayed, according to a ruling by India's high court that was issued Saturday. The men had been found guilty of raping and attacking a woman on a bus; they've been appealing that finding.
The four men were sentenced to death in September for a crime that sparked shock, anger and intense debate over how India handles violence against women.
"The Supreme Court's order came in response to a petition filed by an attorney for the two men that said the appeals court that confirmed the death sentence this past week had completely ignored their defense," The Associated Press reports. "The court scheduled a hearing in the case for March 31."
An attorney for the other two men convicted in the case says he will file papers for a similar stay, the news agency reports.
As NPR's Julie McCarthy reported when the trial ended last fall, the judge detailed the crimes the men were found guilty of committing, in which they attacked a 23-year-old woman and a friend:
"He talked about how they lured this woman onto a bus. They turned off the lights. She believed she was on a normal bus; she wasn't at all. They pinned her down. They took turns raping her.
"They threw her off the bus naked. They stole all her belongings. And everyone was found equally guilty. So, guilty on gang rape, guilty for murder, guilty for kidnapping and unnatural offenses, which really speaks to the brutality of this attack."
Two additional men were also involved in the attack. One, a juvenile, is in a reform home. Another man allegedly hanged himself while in jail.