India Elders Get Death in Honor Killing
First use of capital punishment for this crime
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted May 25, 2010 9:05 AM CDT
A picture of the couple before they were killed by villagers.   (YouTube Screen Grab)
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(Newser) – The village elders hunted the young couple down, dragging them from a bus, strangling the groom and forcing his bride to drink pesticide in an honor killing with roots thousands of years old. But for the first time, India has sentenced the murderers to death for their actions, setting up a showdown between long-held tradition and cries for overhauling what some say are archaic rules, reports the Washington Post.

The ruling, which condemned five village elders to death for murdering the couple for violating laws designed to prevent even distant relatives from marrying, has split the village and the region, finds the Post. Some, like the groom's mother, feel marriage laws are in need of an overhaul. "My son did the honorable thing by marrying the girl he loved," she says. Others are outraged—not at the double murder, but at the lovers' transgressions: "Manoj and Babli rubbed our village's name in mud," a local farmer says.