The British government is considering
giving Alan Turing a posthumous pardon.
According to The
Guardian, the government on Friday signaled that it will back
a bill which would pardon Turing, who was convicted of gross
indecency under a law criminalizing gay sex.
Turing, a mathematician, helped crack
the German Enigma machine code – a triumph of computer science and
a turning point for the Allies in World War II.
He died an early death for
acknowledging that he was gay. In 1952, Turing and Arnold Murray
were charged with gross indecency after Turing disclosed their
relationship to detectives investigating a break in at Turing's
Manchester home. Turing was
convicted and given the choice of going to prison or submitting to a
form of chemical castration via estrogen hormone injections. He
chose the latter. The therapy left him impotent and he developed
It is widely
believed that he committed suicide two years after his arrest by
eating a cyanide-laced apple.
are very aware of the calls to pardon Turing, given his outstanding
achievements, and have great sympathy with this objective,” Lord
Ahmad of Wimbledon, a spokesman for the government (a whip), told
peers. “That is why the government believe it is right that
parliament should be free to respond to this bill in whatever way its
conscience dictates and in whatever way it so wills.”