India's Supreme Court commuted the death sentences of and freed 19 defendants in the 1991 assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi but ordered that four others in the case face capital punishment. The court also commuted the sentences of three others convicted in the suicide bombing to life imprisonment, nearly one year after a lower court sentenced all 26 to death. Of the 19 freed, two people were acquitted of all charges. The court lessened the sentences of the 17 others by reducing the charges. They were then ordered released since they had already been held nearly eight years. A court in Madras had sentenced all 26 to death in January 1998. Gandhi was killed during a campaign rally in Sriperumbudur near Madras on May 21, 1991.