Most of you have probably heard about this already, but here’s the BBC:
Computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing has been given a posthumous royal pardon…
The pardon was granted under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy after a request by Justice Minister Chris Grayling…
“His later life was overshadowed by his conviction for homosexual activity, a sentence we would now consider unjust and discriminatory and which has now been repealed,” said Mr Grayling.
“Turing deserves to be remembered and recognised for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science. A pardon from the Queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man.”
The pardon comes into effect on 24 December.
Turing died in June 1954 from cyanide poisoning and an inquest decided that he had committed suicide. However, biographers, friends and other students of his life dispute the finding and suggest his death was an accident.
Many people have campaigned for years to win a pardon for Turing…
Glyn Hughes, the sculptor of the Alan Turing Memorial in Manchester, said it was “very gratifying” that he had finally been pardoned.
“When we set out to try and make him famous – get him recognised – it was really difficult to collect money,” he said.
“None of the big computer companies would stump up a penny for a memorial. They perhaps would now – we’ve come a very long way.”…
More details at the link. Further celebrations are planned in Manchester:
… The decision to pardon Dr Turing means attention can be focused on his “significant” achievements, which are marked at the University of Manchester where he spent the last six years of his life working.
In that time he helped create the world’s first modern computer, the Manchester Mark 1, and also invented a test for artificial intelligence.
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, president and vice-chancellor of the university, said: “His legacy will live on as one of the most significant scientists of his or any other generation.”
The city council and the LGF last year launched the Alan Turing Memorial Award to recognise people who have made a significant contribution to the fight against homophobia.
And many campaigners are calling for Dr Turing’s case to set a precedent enabling further pardons for others who had similar convictions.
Mr Karney said: “Lots of other lives were destroyed. We will be righting their injustice in a symbolic way.”
On 31 March – the date he was convicted – the city council will hold an Alan Turing Pardon Day and the names of other Mancunians convicted of the same offences will be read out in a ceremony before the statue of the great man.
Okay, but does Alan Turing pardon the British government? Can he be brought back to life to pardon the Queen?
I’m not sure if he has any family to accept any sort of official documentation. But it took awhile for that sin to be expunged.
Shouldn’t the government be apologizing instead of issuing pardons?
Turing was a genius who played a HUGE role in defeating the nazis. He deserved all the medals. Instead he was arrested and imprisoned, shot up with hormones, humiliated to the point of suicide (accident my ass; he ate a poisoned apple like Snow White).
This feels like too little, too late. QEII should have known about this decades earlier.
@Yatsuno: Hey! You’re here!
How you holding up?
No triathlons or extreme sports until at least January.
Shorter British Empire:
Thanks for all the memories, now die.
I’d say too little, too late, but after the last two PM’s proved so candy-ass about this, and the fact that QE2 used some sort of extraordinary measure, and that at least some are recognizing the tens of thousands of other lives ruined… Hooray?
Truly a giant among men, Turing. He deserved better.
@BGinCHI: I hit you up in the thread where you were flying tomorrow. Repeating my suggestion: find a nice Jewish lady with rugelach also willing to share the recipe. I’m drooling over that now…
Since we are talking about pardons, can anyone explain to me why Don Siegelman is still in jail?
Surely he’s a prime candidate for a Presidential pardon.
Much more than Scooter was.
Villago Delenda Est
It is about fucking time.
Now, dig up the maggots who hounded him and put their heads on spikes at the Tower.
Scooter was not pardoned.
Whether or not Siegelman has applied for a pardon, cannot say.
@Yatsuno: Got it. Happy holidays and be well.
What sin?? What does he need pardoning from?
In the US accepting a pardon requires admitting guilt. Is the same true for the UK?
When they repealed the law against being a homosexual, they should have retroactively made all those convicted of the crime not guilty and completely expunged the record and made restitution.
I don’t know much about the British legal system, but this seems worse than too little too late. A pardon seems insulting. I would offer the thought that he doesn’t need pardoning from anything since he didn’t do anything wrong.
Why would anyone pardon Don Siegelman?
@Corner Stone: Because he was railroaded?
@hamletta: He was convicted in a court of law and that conviction was upheld by the 11th Circuit of Appeals.
How is that railroading?
It’s my suspicion that the Queen has no more input on this than on legislation. Notice that the article says that the Justice Minister put in the request.
Maybe I got this backwards, but shouldn’t Alan Turing be pardoning the Queen?
Mike in NC
Proves that having a system based on heretiary titles is bullshit.
@schrodinger’s cat: The government apologized officially n 2007 I think during Brown’s (Labor) Government but a pardon didn’t happen a couple of times for legal reasons. Turing’s end was a true tragedy and an example of the devastation from homophobic, misogynist and other anti-social behavior generally.
How’s he going to do it, via Ouija board? He’s been dead since 1954.
Villago Delenda Est
@Mike in NC:
The system that the 1% desperately wants to bring to this country. They’ve already got the hereditary wealth…they want the bling of the titles, and the tugging for forelocks to go with it.
Which is why I’m in favor of tumbrels for the majority of them.
Paul in KY
Little too late, it appears…